- National Teams
Karolis Stepanavicius has been charged by England Basketball with post-game improper conduct of a violent and threatening nature towards a game official, following the incident at the end of the 2014 EBL Division 3 Playoff Final on 12th April.
After a full disciplinary process, Stepanavicius has been “suspended immediately from all basketball activity under the jurisdiction of England Basketball until 31st December 2016. The period from 1st June 2016 to be suspended based on no breach of this suspension.”
To be clear; Stepanavicius may not participate in any England Basketball organised activity until at least 1st June 2016 providing he does not break the terms of his suspension. This includes coaching, watching, officiating or attending any games.
Following Tyrell Isaacs’ game winner, London Lituanica players Alisauskas and Stepanavicius both confronted the game officials Jess Tensel and Matthew Lloyd and Stepanavicius shoved Lloyd to the floor. Neither of the officials were harmed in the incident.
Stepanavicius has expressed extreme levels of remorse and regret for his actions.
“I would like to take this opportunity to say sorry to all spectators who supported both teams with their hearts and passion for basketball, all organisers who made this event happen at the highest standards and of course the game officials who did a great job on refereeing throughout the game,” he said.
“I would like to apologise for my unacceptable unsocial behaviour, I know that my words can’t change what I did but if I could turn back the time I would but I can’t, so I’m trying to express my deepest apologies.”
Stepanavicius added that he had been under intense pressure due to personal issues, but his appeals to EB have fallen upon deaf ears.
England Basketball have also taken action against Alisauskas who has been charged with general improper conduct and bringing the game into disrepute. Alisauskas receives the same sentence except for a shorter term only until 31st December 2015, again the period from 1st June 2015 to be suspended based on no breach of the suspension.
London Lituanica Basketball Club have also been issued with a £100.00 fine for the improper conduct of their spectators.
England Basketball employ an external and independent disciplinary officer away from the sport of basketball to make decisions of this type, who assess the situation in question and come to a conclusion based on the disciplinary points system.
England Basketball’s National League Officer Nicky Brown refuted that this was an opportunity to show the governing body’s support of their officials or to send a zero tolerance message, saying:
“No, no this has nothing to do with supporting officials or sending a message or anything like that. We have an external disciplinary officer away from the sport who deals with these decisions.”