Illinois seven-footer Kofi Cockburn was very excited about a big and-one in the Fighting Illini’s 71-62 victory over No. 5 Michigan on Wednesday night, and accidentally pummeled a referee while celebrating.
With just over three minutes remaining, Cockburn — listed at 290 pounds — got an offensive rebound and made a layup while getting fouled, and turned and threw his right fist in celebration. Unfortunately, his fist/arm connected with referee Lewis Garrison’s head. Garrison was down on all fours for several minutes, before being helped to a locker room for examination.
Kofi Cockburn delivers the knockout blow to Michigan and then unfortunately the referee as well. I've never seen anything like it! Video courtesy of BTN pic.twitter.com/iGxu6xlzig
— Matt Randazzo (@MattRandazzo) December 12, 2019
Yeah that’s a KO pic.twitter.com/aQYri7LYwm
— Big Ten Geek (@bigtengeek) December 12, 2019
Ref was down for at least five minutes and looked half-asleep as he was helped off the court. Never seen that outside of a WWE ring. Was expecting an Illinois player to come out swinging steel chair while the ref was incapacitated.pic.twitter.com/EoPJEZtoUy
— Jeff Ermann (@Jeff_Ermann) December 12, 2019
A scary scene, and hopefully Garrison will be okay.