Here in Kentucky, we take our basketball very, very seriously. Our beloved Wildcats are the last undefeated team in men’s college basketball this year. And all those players got their start in high school hoops.
According to a study by the National Athletic Trainers Association, two players on every high school basketball team in the country, regardless of gender, are likely to be injured during a season. Common injuries include sprains, strains, eye injuries and concussions
Concussions & Basketball?
Concussions are often associated with football but, while they are a prominent injury in that sport, they are not exclusive to it. Basketball players throughout the 11th Region have suffered concussions — while taking a head-over-heels spill in the opening minutes of a preseason scrimmage, while blocking a shot and being flipped in the air in the first game of the season, while going up for a shot and being undercut, while hustling after a loose ball and slamming into the scorer’s table.
That’s four known players in just this region, just this season.
A concussion can happen even if the person hasn’t lost consciousness. Symptoms generally appear soon after the bump, blow or jolt to the head, but the full effects of the injury may not be noticeable right away. Common symptoms include headache, blurry vision, sensitivity to light or noise, dizziness and confusion.
Unfortunately, there are no definitive physical sideline tests for diagnosing a concussion. Short of a functional MRI, the only way to diagnose a concussion is through observation.
Responding to Concussions
It is imperative for coaches and parents to recognize that athletes may hide or downplay their symptoms because they are eager to play, don’t want to disappoint their teammates or think they can “tough it out.” Any athlete with a suspected concussion should be immediately removed from play and not allowed to return until a health care professional evaluates them and judges them to be symptom-free. Some athletic trainers rely on their knowledge of what is normal behavior for that player and also trust teammates to report when a player is not acting “right.” The process of returning to play should be gradual. One suggested standard of care recommends keeping a player with a concussion off the court for 5 days AFTER the player is without symptoms for at least 24 hours.
If you have any questions about this topic or know someone who has suffered a concussion while playing a sport, contact us to discuss your unique situation. Call the Johnson Law Firm at 606-437-4488 or fill out our consultation form
for a free assessment of your case.