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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A UNCW basketball player is speaking out about his infamous former coach, who was fired after video surfaced of him mistreating his players.

Rutgers fired Mike Rice yesterday. The controversial video shows him hitting, kicking and hurling basketballs at players.

Tyree Graham, who used to play for Rice at Rutgers, had kind words to say about Rice during an interview with ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”

“I know Coach Rice, and I know his passion for basketball and his love for basketball has gotten him to this point right now and into this situation,” Graham said. “But I really do believe that great things will happen for him in the future. I know he feels bad about what he did.”

Graham says he gained respect for Rice due to his passion for the game. But Graham added that he also lost respect for his former coach because he could not turn his competitive nature off.

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