Cal has urged organizers of a West Coast holiday tournament to prohibit a fan who allegedly targeted Fardaws Aimaq with derogatory remarks, including calling him a “terrorist.” A video circulating on social media captured Aimaq, a sixth-year forward from Vancouver, British Columbia, approaching the fan in the stands after Cal’s 75-72 loss to UTEP in the SoCal Challenge.
coach Mark Madsen has called for a formal investigation and requested that the fan be barred from future events. Aimaq’s agent, Daniel Poneman, mentioned that the fan continued heckling Aimaq even after the game had ended.
Aimaq, the son of Afghan refugees, faced offensive comments due to his background. The 6-foot-11 transfer from Texas Tech, averaging 16 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game for , grew up in Canada after his parents fled the Soviet-Afghan War.
While acknowledging the inappropriate language used by the fan, Coach Madsen also stated that Aimaq would face internal discipline for confronting the individual in the stands. Madsen emphasized the importance of maintaining composure regardless of the circumstances and expressed disappointment over the alleged verbal abuse Aimaq experienced.
In a separate incident, Michigan coach Juwan Howard returned to the Wolverines’ bench as an observer after recovering from heart surgery. Howard had been on medical leave since September, and Phil Martelli continued to serve as the interim head coach.
Additionally, the UConn men’s basketball team secured its 22nd consecutive win over nonconference opponents by a double-digit margin, defeating Texas 81-71 in the Empire Classic title game. UConn coach Dan Hurley downplayed the achievement, jokingly mentioning canceling Thanksgiving to maintain focus on upcoming games. The team’s streak, dating back to the previous season, positions them close to breaking the record for the longest streak of double-digit wins over nonconference opponents in the past 40 years.