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College basketball player confronts fan allegedly calling him ‘terrorist’ during game

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A Cal basketball player confronted a fan who was allegedly calling him a “terrorist” during the Golden Bears’ game against UTEP on Monday. 

Fardaws Aimaq, a 6-foot-11 center, was caught on video walking up the bleachers at The Pavilion in San Juan Capistrano, California, to get in a fan’s face. Aimaq’s agent, Daniel Poneman, reposted the video on X, showing his client pointing in the fan’s face. 

The confrontation didn’t escalate to anything physical. 

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Fardaws Aimaq looks on court

Fardaws Aimaq of the Texas Tech Red Raiders shoots a free throw against the Kansas Jayhawks in the second half of the game at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas, on Feb. 28. (Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

“Do you want to talk?” Aimaq said to the fan repeatedly. 

Poneman said the fan was heckling Aimaq, a sixth-year transfer, throughout the game, during which he “hurled racist insults.”

“Fardaws is a gentle, kind hearted person. When he left Texas Tech, his DMs filled with horrible, unimaginable things from fans, and he didn’t react. This fan hurled racist insults all game, called him a terrorist and told him to leave the country. I would never encourage a player to confront a fan in the stands. But on a human level, this fan’s behavior is far worse than the reaction,” wrote Poneman.

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Poneman added that Aimaq was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, while his parents are from Afghanistan. 

“His father fled Afghanistan as a 17 year old during wartime and was taken as a political prisoner in Pakistan, forced to survive in a 8×3 jail cell for months,” Poneman added. “His son realizes the American dream, and this is how Americans treat him.”

Fardaws Aimaq defends

Texas Tech Red Raiders forward Fardaws Aimaq defends against West Virginia Mountaineers forward Emmitt Matthews Jr. in the first half of a Big 12 Tournament basketball game at T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 8. (Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Golden Bears head coach Mark Madsen also addressed the situation in a statement released on social media:

“Throughout and after Monday’s game, Fardaws Aimaq was allegedly subjected to abhorrent and offensive comments from a fan — including being called a terrorist. I have asked the SoCal Challenge tournament director that a formal investigation be conducted and that this fan be barred from the premises. 

“Fardaws and I had an important conversation today about how he needs to maintain his composure regardless of what takes place in a game or what is said to him directly. I am disturbed that Fardaws was allegedly on the receiving end of such language, and I’m disappointed that he confronted this fan in the stands. Fardaws understands my expectations for how he as a student-athlete conducts himself. The consequences related to this situation will be managed internally.”

Aimaq played for Texas Tech in the Big 12 last year prior to transferring to Cal. Over five games this season (all starts), he has averaged 16.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists, while shooting 58.5% from the field. 

Fardaws Aimaq looks on court

Forward Fardaws Aimaq of the Texas Tech Red Raiders looks on during the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas, on March 4. (John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

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Aimaq previously played for Mercer and Utah Valley in his college career. 


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