Society

Video: Man Busts High School Basketball Referees Not Calling Fouls

| by Michael Allen

32-year-old Michael Christenson of Yakima, Washington, uploaded a video (below) of several hard fouls during a Highland High School's boys game against Connell High on December 22, 2011, in order to prove how bad the referees were for not calling fouls.

To his surprise, the video has gone viral, collecting more than 33,000 views since being posted on YouTube on December 28, 2011.

Christenson says he was only trying to show a small group of Highland High School students and parents about the need for better high school basketball officials.

Christenson's nephew, Tanner Christenson, plays guard for the Highland High Scots.

The video shows two Connell players, seniors Cole Vanderbilt and Kennan VanHollebeke, committing six personal fouls (which they were not called for) during a 38-37 home win over the Highland High Scots.

After Christenson uploaded the video to Facebook, he transferred it to YouTube. A day later, it was picked up by guyism.com and posted under the title: "VIDEO: The dirtiest basketball player in America."

However, Cole Vanderbilt's grandmother, Karen Vanderbilt defended her grandson: "He's a nice, young student in high school." But she made no comment on his brutal assaults on the court.

"Thinking about it now, I maybe could have contacted the WIAA (Washington Interscholastic Activities Association) first, but I wasn't expecting this," Christenson said. "It wasn't my intention to single (Vanderbilt) out. If you look closely at my video, his name is never mentioned. What I wanted to single out was the officiating. If they do their jobs, there are no hard fouls and no video."

David Pierce, of the Tri-Cities Sports Officials Association, said the referees did their job during the game: "There were no problems and no fights. It's getting painted as flagrant fouls or intentional fouls, but it doesn't have anything to do with that. The guy took a camera and jaded it. He didn't show the whole game. He showed six plays."