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New Jersey school district exploring legal action after controversial basketball game decision: report

Camden athletic director accused of trolling Manasquan on social media after NJ basketball controversy

Tooba Shakir 1 month ago 0

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Manasquan school district tried everything to overturn the result of the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group 2 boys basketball semifinal result, even taking legal action after officials waved off a buzzer-beater that should’ve won them their game against Camden High School. 

But Camden’s athletic director Will Hickson appears to be moving on since the Tuesday night controversy got swept into the news cycle. 

On Friday night, a post came from an X account that is purportedly Hickson’s. The athletic director said, “See you at Rutgers..” with heart emojis and the 1989 movie poster for Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing.”

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A referee and a basketball

A referee stands beside a Nike basketball during the game between the Elon Phoenix and the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium on December 18, 2021, in Durham, North Carolina.  (Lance King/Getty Images)

Some in the comments view this tweet by Hickson as trolling considering the lengths Manasquan has gone in trying to reverse the decision made on Tuesday night. 

After Camden took a one-point lead in the game, Manasquan had a few seconds to get down the court and win it with a basket. After an initial three-pointer didn’t go in, a Manasquan player smartly ran for the rebound and was able to get a quick tip-in off before the buzzer sounded. Video of the scene clearly shows that time was still on the clock when the ball was in the air. 

However, after reviewing it together on the court, the officials waved off the basket, claiming it hadn’t been released in time and that Camden had won the game. 

NJ SCHOOL DISTRICT FILES LAWSUIT OVER BLOWN CALL IN STATE SEMIFINAL BASKETBALL GAME

As outraged poured over social media, especially after video of the shot had gone viral, the NJSIAA released a statement saying officials agreed they had gotten the call wrong after further review. However, citing their rules, the NJSIAA couldn’t overturn the result to allow Manasquan a spot in the Group 2 final. 

Manasquan has done everything to get their boys back on court, but a denial came from an Ocean County Superior Court judge, and the New Jersey Department of Education upheld the officials’ call on Friday, according to NJ Advance Media. 

“We’re asking Judge [Mark] Troncone to put the brakes on this game on Saturday pending judicial review of what happened” the Clark Law Firm told NJ Advance Media of the “injunctive relief” they were requesting. “What we’re trying to do is put the brakes on the [final] game pending on who should be the right team to be in that game and declare Manasquan the winner. We will argue that the NJSIAA’s rules would require them to use the videotape to get the right result here.”

A picture of a basketball hoop

A basketball hoop, net and backboard during the Desert Classic between the Florida Atlantic Owls and the Arizona Wildcats at T-Mobile Arena on December 23, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Even New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy commented on the matter, saying, “I feel very badly” for Manasquan after seeing the video. However, it wasn’t in his power to do anything about it. 

While Manasquan has done all it can but to no avail, Camden school district’s attorney, Lou Cappelli Jr., called their attempts “ridiculous.”

“Are we going to go back and look at all 32 minutes of the game and come to the judge and say, ‘Judge, this wasn’t a foul? It’s ridiculous,” he told The Asbury Park Press.

Hickson’s X account was active on Saturday morning as well, posting several hip-hop album covers that might not sit well with Manasquan fans either. 

The first album was Public Enemy’s “Yo! Bum Rush the Show,” though a Camden High School Panthers logo was placed underneath “Public Enemy” on the album. There was also “Strictly Business” by EPMD as well. 

Hickson also posted Thursday a tweet that read, “Here at CAMDEN HIGH we like to say… Let the Coaches, COACH! Let the Players, PLAY! Let the Officials, OFFICIATE! Let the Spectators be POSITIVE!”

A referee with a basketball

A referee holds a Nike branded basketball under his arm during a stoppage in play during a college basketball game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Illinois Fighting Illini on February 13, 2024, at the State Farm Center in Champaign, IL. (James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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Camden is set to play Arts High School (Newark) at Rutgers on Saturday.

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