Top Israeli Basketball Team Cuts Star Player for Punching Teammate in the Face

Teammate Guy Pnini has been hospitalized for a possible facial fracture. The ousted player, Glen Rice Jr., is the Israeli league's top scorer, averaging more than 24 points a game

Glen Rice Jr. during a game against Hapoel Yerushalayim, March 24, 2018
Sharon Bokov

Israel's top basketball team has cut its star player Glen Rice Jr. after he punched a teammate in the face after a game on Monday night.

Hapoel Holon says it released Rice after the team's Monday night loss because of a "severe disciplinary infraction." During the game, Rice had a verbal confrontation with teammate Guy Pnini. The team's coach opted to keep Rice in the game, but eventually benced him for the final two minutes of the fourth quarter. After the game, Rice punched Pnini in the face in the locker room. Pnini was hospitalized with a suspected facial fracture. 

Guy Pnini and Glen Rice Jr. during a game
Nir Keidar

The 27-year-old Rice is the Israeli league's top scorer, averaging more than 24 points a game, and has led Holon to the top of the standings. He was drafted six months ago after the team suffered a rocky season opening. His short temperament and criminal past were noted by the team before his recruitment, but they chose to take the risk because of Rice's immense talent. 

He also won a state cup thanks to a last-second winning shot against powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv. Rice, who briefly played in the NBA, was previously arrested in the United States on battery and robbery charges. His father is three-time NBA all-star Glen Rice.