Auburn star Johni Broome bats away a spectator’s hand before realizing it’s Morgan Freeman

Petre Thomas/USA Today Sports/Reuters

When a fan sitting courtside grabbed Johni Broome’s jersey during Auburn’s clash against the University of Mississippi, the college basketball star turned angrily to push them away.

Then came a moment of realization: the fan in question was in fact Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman.

Broome was immediately apologetic and later went over to Freeman to apologize again, in between helping Auburn to a 91-77 victory on the road against Ole Miss on Saturday.

“I thought it was an Ole Miss fan grabbing my jersey, holding on to me,” Broome told reporters after the game. “I kind of got his hand off. I saw who it was, and I’m a big movie guy. I probably watched one of his movies on the plane coming here.

“But I realized it was him and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m a big fan. I’m sorry.’ He said, ‘Just keep playing.’”

Freeman, who is perhaps best known for his roles in “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Million Dollar Baby” as well as his deep, distinctive voice, is a longtime Ole Miss fan and is often seen attending their games.

But, partly thanks to Broome who had 15 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and three blocks for Auburn, Freeman watched his Ole Miss team let a halftime lead slip and succumb to a defeat.

“I came back out there again, and I’m just like, ‘I’m sorry, again,’” Broome said. “He said, ‘You all good. Just keep playing.’”

Broome scored all of his points in the second half, including a run of seven consecutive points that stretched Auburn’s lead to 11 with just over four minutes remaining in the game.

His team held on to snap Ole Miss’ 14-game unbeaten streak at home.

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