OREM, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Video captured a Payson High School basketball player who kneed his Timpanogos opponent in the groin. Many who've seen the footage, don't believe the hit was an accident.
"I got up and was guarding him to stop the in-bounds pass," said AJ Coombs, Timpanogos High School student.
Timpanogos High School basketball player AJ Coombs is explaining how he was the victim of a cheap shot at his sophomore basketball game last Friday against Payson High School. You can see it in home video shot at the game. It happens fast, but if you look closely you can see player #44 for Payson knee Coombs in the groin. Coombs immediately dropped to the floor.
"My stomach hurt really bad, I felt like I was going to throw up a lot, they actually got me a garbage can at the half in case I threw up," said Coombs.
The hit was so hard, Coombs had to be carried off the court. After the game Coombs said the Payson player apologized and told him it was an accident. But when ABC 4 showed the video to people in Utah County they didn't agree.
"He totally did it on purpose," said Jeremy Behle, Utah County resident.
"Do you think he did it on purpose?" asked Reporter Brian Carlson.
"It looks like it," said Krista Clark, Utah County high school student.
"He lifted his leg up to run, you don't lift your leg up to run," said AJ Hendrickson, Utah County resident.
Coombs' parents are upset.
"I was pretty angry at the time," said Susan Christensen, Coombs' mother.
"It was all I could do not to jump out onto the court," said Art Coombs, Coombs' father.
What you may find interesting is that on the Payson High School's athletics website, if you go to the bottom of the page it lists a Sportsmanship pledge, that reads in part, "We Will... play fair and by the rules", because - "It's the right thing to do."
When Carlson showed the pledge to Coombs he laughed.
"Does that make you laugh?" Carlson asked.
"Ha ha. Yah," Coombs said.
He understands no one's perfect, but doesn't feel the player who kneed him in the groin showed much sportsmanship.
"Do you think he treated you with respect?" Carlson asked.
"I don't believe so, it was in the heat of the game, he made a bad choice, it happens to all of us," said Coombs.