NCAA player collapses on court during basketball game

News & Politics

Division 1 NCAA basketball player for Old Dominion, Imo Essien, collapsed on the court during a game against Georgia Southern, leaving fans and teammates in shock.

On Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, the sophomore guard fell onto his backside with 13:13 remaining in the first half. He attempted to get back to his feet and then laid down on his back before clutching his chest in pain.

“Players from both teams [were] visibly upset after watching,” a local news reporter stated. “A number of [Old Dominion] players were seen crying and looking on, hoping their teammate was ok,” the report continued.

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“Imo Essien was evaluated by the ODU Athletic Training staff along with the GA Southern medical staff,” the school said in a statement posted to Twitter.

“He was responsive throughout and was able to sit with the team for the duration of the game and drove home with the team,” the statement continued.

Essien is averaging 5.4 points per game, while playing nearly 30 minutes in each match. According to his bio, Essien scored over 1,000 points in high school and was selected as an all-state player twice.

“He is in good spirits and will work with the ODU Sports Medicine Staff when they return to Norfolk,” the school said of Essien.

The player didn’t appear to lose consciousness and was helped off the court by staff, with medical personnel from both teams initially attending to the guard.

Essien posted a statement to his Twitter account, saying the incident was “by far the scariest day of my life.”

“Never would I have imagined having to go through something that severe,” the statement continued.

“Even though it hurt not being able to continue competing on the court with my brothers, I’m extremely proud how they fought to get the win,” Essien remarked.

“I want to let everyone know…My family my close friends, Monarch Nation, and anyone else who may be concerned, I’m feeling a lot better and confident that I will be at 100% very soon,” the player said before signing his name.

Old Dominion won an otherwise exciting game 81-75 in overtime.

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