Former Gamecock Balkman chokes teammate during game

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - Former University of South Carolina standout Renaldo Balkman is under the microscope after shoving a teammate and grabbing his throat during a game this week.

Balkman, who now plays in the Philippine Basketball Association for the Petron Blaze Boosters, got into a heated discussion with officials after he felt he was fouled late in a loss to the Alaska Aces.

One of Balkman's teammates, Arwind Santos, tried to intervene while the former Gamecock was arguing with officials, and Balkman responded by shoving him. Santos eventually shoved Balkman back and that's when the forward grabbed Santos by the neck.

Late Friday afternoon, Balkman issued an apology through his Twitter account.

"I [would] like to apologize to the fans, Petron Blaze, my teammates, the PBA and especially [Ronald Tubid] and [Arwind Santos]," said Balkman. "I got caught up in the moment of a very intense game. This was unintentional towards (Arwind Santos). I am a team player who always has the best interest of the team at heart."

Balkman's professional career has not panned out as he had hoped. He was a surprising first round draft pick by the New York Knicks in 2006. but his career never took off. In six NBA seasons with the Knick and Denver Nuggets, Balkman averaged 4.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in less than 14 minutes of playing time per game.

Balkman signed with the Petron Blaze Boosters in December 2012 after his six-year stint in the NBA.