The Louisville Cardinals have been playing a series of games against the Puerto Rican national team this week, as Hall of Famer Rick Pitino happens to coach both teams, and things got a bit snippy after Wednesday night’s game when Louisville sophomore center Chinanu Onuaku and Puerto Rican point guard J.J. Barea got into a physical altercation in the handshake line. Nick Coffey of Cardinal Connect reported the story.
Per Coffey, both teams were in the handshake line following team Puerto Rico’s 96-92 win over Louisville Wednesday night, Barea said something Onuaku didn’t like, so Onuaku shoved him and the rest is history. As a result, Onuaku did not appear in last night’s game.
Coffey also noted that Barea had missed Wednesday night’s game with an injury, but was very “vocal” from the bench. Thus, it sounds like Onuaku didn’t take kindly to being trash-talked or heckled.
Even if that is the case, Onuaku needs to realize that as a basketball player on the collegiate or professional level, he is going to be heckled by both fans and opposing players. Yes, it’s frustrating that Louisville lost, but he can’t let his emotions get the best of him in these situations.
Hopefully, he has cooled off and will be allowed to suit up for tonight’s game.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Courier-Journal