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Kanacevic suspended for two games and not eligible to return until New Year’s Eve at Drexel

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By Anthony Caruso III
The Capital Sports Report
Owner/Managing Editor/Sr. Writer

Saint Joseph’s University has suspended its basketball player Halil Kanacevic for two games. He gave an obscene gesture during the Hawks’ loss on Tuesday night at Villanova.

Halil Kanacevic

“The tradition of the Philadelphia Big 5 and the reputation of Saint Joseph’s University are greater than any one game or any one player,” stated SJU director of athletics Don DiJulia in a Wednesday statement. “In a meeting earlier today with myself and Coach Martelli, Halil was appropriately remorseful and accepting of this sanction. We have reinforced the expectations of our student-athletes, on and off the court.”

Kanacevic was seen extending middle fingers on each hand into the area towards the Villanova student section. He did this after making a three-point shot in the second half that gave the Hawks a 50-47 lead, before the Wildcats would eventually win 65-61.

“There is no place for obscene gestures or personal outbursts directed at anyone,” said Hawks head coach Phil Martelli. “We have always sought to conduct ourselves in a respectful manner to our University and to our opponents, and this behavior was unacceptable and inexcusable, even in the heat of the moment.”

The suspension will take place on December 22nd against Fairfield and on December 28th against Iona. He is not allowed to take part in any team activities for a week.

He is allowed to return to practice on December 19th. Then, he is able to play in the Hawks’ New Years Eve game at Drexel.

“My actions were wrong and embarrassing and I strongly regret them. I made a mistake and I accept total responsibility for my behavior,” Kanacevic said. “I am sorry for the harm caused to my teammates and coaches and my actions were unbecoming of a member of our community. I sincerely apologize to both universities and to everyone who saw the game.”

Kanacevic is averaging 8.1 points per game and along with 3.6 assists per game, which is tied for the team lead. He had just four points in the loss to the Wildcats.

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