Frightening moment Illinois player ACCIDENTALLY levels an official with celebratory fist pump

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Illinois center Kofi Cockburn sparked a frightening moment on Wednesday night by accidentally punching an official while celebrating a clutch basket in the Illini’s upset of fifth-ranked Michigan.

Cockburn had just converted a layup while drawing a foul with four minutes remaining, which prompted him to spin around and swing his fist in celebration.

Unfortunately, the seven-foot, 290-pound Jamaican inadvertently connected with referee Lewis Garrison, who had whistled the foul.

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Illinois' Kofi Cockburn (left) sparked a frightening moment by accidentally punching an official while celebrating a clutch basket in the Illini's upset of fifth-ranked Michigan

Illinois' Kofi Cockburn (left) sparked a frightening moment by accidentally punching an official while celebrating a clutch basket in the Illini's upset of fifth-ranked Michigan

Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn (left) sparked a frightening moment by accidentally punching an official while celebrating a clutch basket in the Illini’s upset of fifth-ranked Michigan

Cockburn had just converted a layup while drawing a foul with four minutes remaining, which prompted him to spin around and swing his fist in celebration

Cockburn had just converted a layup while drawing a foul with four minutes remaining, which prompted him to spin around and swing his fist in celebration

Unfortunately, the seven-foot, 290-pound Jamaican inadvertently connected with referee Lewis Garrison, who had whistled the foul

Unfortunately, the seven-foot, 290-pound Jamaican inadvertently connected with referee Lewis Garrison, who had whistled the foul

Cockburn had just converted a layup while drawing a foul with four minutes remaining, which prompted him to spin around and swing his fist in celebration. Unfortunately, the seven-foot, 290-pound center inadvertently connected with referee Lewis Garrison, who called the foul

Cockburn actually held Garrison's arm as the official tumbled to the ground before trying to revive the veteran referee. Meanwhile the Illini bench went from celebrating Cockburn's basket to being visibly shaken at the sight of Garrison's injury

Cockburn actually held Garrison's arm as the official tumbled to the ground before trying to revive the veteran referee. Meanwhile the Illini bench went from celebrating Cockburn's basket to being visibly shaken at the sight of Garrison's injury

Cockburn actually held Garrison’s arm as the official tumbled to the ground before trying to revive the veteran referee. Meanwhile the Illini bench went from celebrating Cockburn’s basket to being visibly shaken at the sight of Garrison’s injury

As seen in the game footage, Cockburn’s fist or elbow appears to have connected with the forehead of Garrison, who crumbled to the hardwood. According to the Associated Press, Garrison was unconscious at one point, but other reports and the game footage suggests he never lost consciousness.

Cockburn finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in the 71-62 win over the fifth-ranked Wolverines

Cockburn finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in the 71-62 win over the fifth-ranked Wolverines

Cockburn finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in the 71-62 win over the fifth-ranked Wolverines

In any case, Illinois spokesman Derrick Burson later said Garrison was cleared on site by team doctors and taken to a hospital as a precaution.

‘I’m a really emotional guy,’ Cockburn said afterwards. ‘We’ve lost the last couple of close games and that just me being passionate, I hit him and I feel bad. I went and told him after the game that I was sorry. He didn’t seem mad at me.’

Cockburn actually held Garrison’s arm as he tumbled to the ground before trying to revive the veteran referee.

Meanwhile the Illini bench went from celebrating Cockburn’s basket to being visibly shaken at the sight of Garrison’s injury.

Garrison did stay on the floor several minutes before returning to his feet.

Cockburn finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in the 71-62 win over the fifth-ranked Wolverines. 

Born in Jamaica, Cockburn played high school ball at the famed Oak Hill Academy before joining the Illinois Fighting Illini as a freshman this season

Born in Jamaica, Cockburn played high school ball at the famed Oak Hill Academy before joining the Illinois Fighting Illini as a freshman this season

Born in Jamaica, Cockburn played high school ball at the famed Oak Hill Academy before joining the Illinois Fighting Illini as a freshman this season 

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