College Basketball Nation: Christian Kabongo

NMSU guard reinstated after apology

December, 20, 2011
New Mexico State guard Christian Kabongo was reinstated to the team's practice on Tuesday after serving a two-game suspension for a violation of team rules during a rivalry game at UTEP when he made obscene gestures to fans.

"I am very sorry to all of New Mexico State University for my actions," Kabongo said in a statement. "I have apologized to (UTEP) coach (Tim) Floyd, and I let the emotions of a big rivalry game get the best of me. I am so thankful to coach [Marvin] Menzies and Dr. [McKinley] Boston for giving me the opportunity to learn from this and become a better person. I hope to be back soon to play for the team and school I love, and if there is anyone I offended I hope you can give me another chance to prove myself."

It wasn't a matter of if Kabongo, the third-leading scorer in the WAC, offended fans because a number of them wrote to the Las Cruces Sun-News about the player's actions.

Without Kabongo, New Mexico State stopped its three-game winning streak with a pair of easy wins. Leading scorer and rebounder Wendell McKines had another big game with 20 points and a career-high 16 rebounds against Southern on Monday.

New Mexico State has another rivalry game against New Mexico next week that Kabongo is expected to be available to play and prove himself once again.

NMSU guard suspended after lewd gestures

December, 14, 2011
New Mexico State has suspended sophomore guard Christian Kabongo indefinitely for a violation of team rules, and according to the Las Cruces Sun-News, the suspension came after the team's second-leading scorer made an obscene gesture to UTEP fans during the Aggies' loss on Sunday.

From the paper:
"He grabbed his crotch after he made the first, then the second one he did it again," said Felipe Truax, who had a front-row seat next to the Aggie bench.

"Yes," Truax added when asked if it was a distasteful move.

[Marvin] Menzies said he didn't notice the action as it unfolded.

"I'll look at the film and address it if that's the case," the head coach said.

New Mexico State has lost four of its past five games following a promising start that included a win against New Mexico. Now it doesn't have Kabongo, whose 15.3 points per game average is fifth-best in the WAC.

The Aggies have as much talent as any team in the league, and the race should be wide open this season. But maturity counts as well, and New Mexico State needs to improve in that area for it to contend.

"Christian has an opportunity to earn his place back on the team, and it is my hope that the young man takes advantage of this life lesson," New Mexico State McKinley Boston said in a statement.