Minneota basketball player apologizes for free-throw trick

There’s a lot to digest in the Marshall Independent’s story about three Minneota, Minn., basketball players who’ve been suspended, apparently for trying to put one over on referees who weren’t paying close enough attention to the game.

As the story is told, when a foul was called sending a Minneota player to the free-throw line in a game two weeks ago, senior Thomas Hennen shot the free throws, even though he wasn’t the player fouled.

The coaches didn’t notice — it happened twice — and apparently neither did the referees. Minneota, which is 19-1, won the game 87-to-83.

Minneota suspended Thomas Hennen for two games, and the two players who should’ve been shooting the free throws for one game.

Hennen, who scored 45 points in the game, issued a stand-up apology:

In our varsity boys’ basketball game against MACCRAY on Jan. 31 in Clara City, I took it upon myself to violate a Minnesota State High School League rule by shooting free throws on two separate occasions when it was a teammate that had been fouled and should have gone to the free-throw line.

As a result of my actions, I was suspended for two games while each of those two teammates received a one-game suspension. I whole-heartedly accept the penalty given to me by my administrators.

In the heat of the game, my competitiveness emerged and I failed to think about the repercussions of my actions at that time.

I would like to apologize to those two teammates, as well as to the rest of my team and coaches, the fans, the school, and the community for my actions.

I would also like to apologize to the MACCRAY players, coaches and fans; and also to the Minnesota State High School League.

I know moving forward that I have learned from my inexcusable actions, and that it will never happen again.”

Thomas Hennen
Minneota High School

The team was ranked first in Class 1A basketball all season (both the girls and boys basketball squads are top ranked), but now it’s been dropped from the rankings completely, according to the Independent.

It does not appear, that the game was forfeited; the Minnesota State High School League lists its only loss as a 57-to-55 loss to Yellow Medicine East High School during the suspensions on Friday night.

(h/t: Paul Tosto)