Fan involved in UH basketball brawl tells his side of the story

Fan involved in UH basketball brawl tells his side of the story

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Henry McShane has been coming to the Stan Sheriff Center for years as a big fan of University of Hawaii sports. And he says he was just being a fan when a fight broke out Nov. 17 after a game at the Rainbow Wahine Basketball Tournament.

The melee occurred after West Virginia defeated the UH Rainbow Wahine, 59-56. UH Athletic Director Ben Jan was injured trying to break up the fight.

McShane, a 54-year-old truck driver from Nanakuli, explained that he was sitting in the West Virginia section because that's where he had been sitting for an earlier game in the tournament.

"He gets into it," said his daughter, Hiilani McShane. "He's a real excited and passionate person about basketball and sports, especially about UH."

Just after the final buzzer, McShane yelled that West Virginia didn't belong in the Big 12 Conference, a remark that caught the attention of the West Virginia assistant coach.

"He said 'Yeah, come down here and say that,'" said McShane. "I said okay. So I walked down the stairs to go down to the railing and tell him, 'You don't belong in the Big 12 because you beat us by three points.' It was silly. It was a silly thing."

But McShane found out that it wasn't silly to West Virginia fans.

"Forty, 50 of them just piled me," he said. "I went over three rows of chairs, over the railing on the concrete, on my hands and knees, because I didn't want to go on my chest or I would be crushed."

McShane said you couldn't see him in the video of the fight because he's at the bottom of the pile of fans fighting.

McShane also said he was upset when Jay released a photo of him that was taken immediately after the fight.

McShane and his daughter met with Jay for more than an hour, during which discussions sometimes became heated. But afterward, they agreed that while McShane may have been wrong to approach the West Virginia coach, "It was fans from West Virginia who attacked Henry at this time, so Henry is the victim in this," said Jay.

Jay is still recovering from his injuries, and said the incident was a lesson to be more aware of possible volatile situations during and after games.

"We need to recognize those things in the future," he said. "Also, we added security for the safety of our fans and everyone involved."

After the meeting, McShane and his daughter said they were satisfied.

Jay said no action will be taken against McShane, and he considers the matter closed.

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