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Youth team featuring top recruit Bol Bol forfeits game over refs

Men Basketball Recruiting, Men's College Basketball

A youth basketball team featuring five-star prospect Bol Bol walked off the court in the middle of a game in protest of the referees this past weekend, marking the second time in less than a month that a high-profile squad has forfeited a game because of officiating.

Midwest Flight was playing against Central Kansas Elite in the national semifinals of the MAYB Championships in Wichita, Kansas, on Sunday when coach Monte Harrison pulled his team off the floor with 6:27 remaining after being whistled for a technical foul.

It was the sixth technical foul of the game called on Midwest Flight, which was trailing 71-61 at the time. The Midwest Flight players, including the 7-foot-2 Bol, gathered their belongings and shook hands with the Central Kansas Elite players before leaving the arena.

Midwest Flight's forfeit occurred two weeks after LaVar Ball pulled his Big Ballers team off the court during a game after he received a technical foul for uttering a profanity toward a referee. Ball's team, which includes his youngest son, LaMelo, was winning 69-60 at the time of the forfeit at the Double Pump Best of Summer Tournament in Anaheim, California.

LaVar Ball also threatened to pull his team off the court the following weekend during an Adidas tournament in Las Vegas, insisting that a female referee who gave him a technical be replaced.

Harrison told the Wichita Eagle that Midwest Flight had issues with the officiating throughout the Wichita tournament.

"We feel like it's downright disrespectful the way the refs were treating us this week," Harrison said. "Who calls [six] technical fouls? That's crazy to be giving out that many technicals to kids. And then one of the refs told one of our guys to 'Shut the hell up and play.' Who does that?"

Bol, a son of former NBA center Manute Bol, is rated as the No. 5 overall prospect in the ESPN100 Class of 2018. He has received scholarship offers from multiple top-tier programs, including Kentucky, UCLA, Kansas and Arizona.

Harrison told the Eagle that throughout the weekend tournament, referees were "coming up asking about [Bol] and it's like they're more worried about who he is than being professional and reffing the game."

Central Kansas Elite coach Clint Kinnamon told the Eagle that Harrison and the Midwest Flight players were disrespectful to the officials.

"I have coached a lot of games and never have I ever seen anything like that before," Kinnamon said. "Honestly, the amount of disrespect their kids and coach showed toward the officials was just wrong on so many levels."

Kinnamon also said the forfeit was disrespectful to his own team, which went on to win the tournament later Sunday.

"It's not like they were getting beat by guys who aren't very good," Kinnamon said. "All of our guys are going to be college players. In some ways, it was kind of disrespectful to our kids a little bit because it was like, 'Well, we're getting beat by guys we shouldn't lose to, so we're going to take our ball and go home.'"

Harrison told the Eagle, however, that he did not mean to disrespect Central Kansas Elite.

"I wasn't pulling them off because we were losing," Harrison said. "The other team played a hell of a game, but there were still six minutes left. We had plenty of time.

"I don't teach my kids to be disrespectful. We don't do things like that in our program. But when you give respect and don't receive it in return, that's not what we're about."

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