Hoops Recruiting: Anderson Ejected From Game

Junction City (Ark.) High School coach Joe Paul Hammett says he's seen a lot in his 22 years as a basketball coach but he'd never witnessed anything like what transpired Monday night when standout James Anderson got kicked out of the game before the opening tip. What did the Oklahoma State signee do to get ejected before the game even began?

The 6-foot-6 Anderson, who entered Monday night's game against Summerfield, La., averaging 37.6 points per game, was ejected for dunking twice during pregame warmups – an act which Hammett disputes. But the all-Louisiana based officiating crew made the ruling and there was nothing Hammett nor Anderson could do about it.

"James knows he can't do that and he would not do anything to jeopardize his opportunity to play or the team's chances to win," Hammett told the El-Dorado News Times. "I actually watched the team warm up. The kids that have the kind of jumping ability James does, they'll leap high and drop the ball into the basket all the time; that's common. But, as for James, I didn't see him dunk."

Junction City opened the season with an 80-60 victory over the same Summerfield High School team on Nov. 14. In that game Anderson had 40 points, 17 rebounds and 7 steals. Hammett says he thinks the officials were just trying to even the score. If that's the case it worked because Summerfield defeated Junction City, playing without its best player, by four points Monday night.

"It's a thing that they saw a chance to get him out of the game," the Junction City head coach said. "For some reason the officials saw an opportunity to extend the rules and they did and that's very unfortunate."

Because Arkansas Activities Association rules stipulate that a student-athlete must also sit out the next game if ejected from a contest Anderson also missed Tuesday night district game against Bearden, which Junction City won 78-58.

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