Veteran Dominion basketball player Imo Essien returns to practice just FOUR DAYS after collapsing
Veteran Dominion basketball player Imo Essien returns to practice just FOUR DAYS after his inexplicable collapse on the court during the NCAA basketball game against Georgia Southern when he reveals he felt like he was “breathing through a straw.”
- Sophomore Imo Essien suffered a frightening collapse during an Old Dominion game on Saturday
- The security guard fell and was unable to get up again before trainers rushed to his aid
- Essien returned to training on Tuesday but was only allowed to take part in practices
- He revealed it was “very hard to breathe” during the on-pitch ordeal
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Just four days after collapsing in Old Dominion’s win over Georgia Southern, Imo Essien returned to training as a sophomore.
With just over 13 minutes left in the first half of Saturday, Essien was playing in defense when he suddenly collapsed on the pitch. He seemed to try to get up briefly before falling back down in pain.
Immediately attended to by coaches from both schools, the warden appeared to remain conscious throughout the ordeal and exited the court.
Veteran Dominion basketball player Imo Essien collapsed on the court against Georgia Southern
Essien revealed he felt like he was breathing through a straw during the scary ordeal when he returned to training on Tuesday.
“I’ll replay it,” Essien said via WTKR. “It doesn’t happen, especially for someone like me. I’ve played basketball my whole life.”
“It was very difficult to breathe,” he recalled. “I felt like I couldn’t catch my wind and at the end there, just before I went down, it felt like all my wind was gone.”
The guard returned to training Tuesday but was only allowed to participate in drills
Essien’s frightening episode came just five days after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest Monday night in Cincinnati against the Bengals.
“It was scary as hell,” added head coach Jeff Jones. “Especially given the situation in (Damar) Hamlin that has happened so recently, I think the worst kind of thing has crossed everyone’s mind.”
ODU’s head athletic trainer Jason Mitchell, along with other medical staff, helped Essien’s breathing return to normal and he eventually returned to his team on the bench in the second half of Saturday’s game.
The school received another boost on Tuesday when Essien returned to training. While he is not allowed to participate in live basketball, Essien could participate in practices.
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin (left) went into cardiac arrest after hitting Cincinnati wide receiver Tee Higgins during last Monday’s game against the Bengals
It’s still unclear what prompted Essien’s collapse on Saturday and the question of his return appears to be a waiting game.
“I’ll wait for the cardiologist, the pulmonologist and whoever else it is… if they all give the thumbs up, that’s great,” Jones said. “If you want to wait, then we will wait.”
“I’m jealous of those guys,” Essien said, smiling. “These guys can go out and play ball. You can play and compete against someone else and I wish I could do that but at the same time I understand what just happened. I understand the seriousness of a situation.”
The sophomore described the ordeal as the scariest moment of his life but insisted the presence of his teammates, coaches and parents put his mind at ease.
Essien collapsed just over 13 minutes from time in the first half of the Monarchs’ win
“Luckily, my brothers were behind me, my coaching staff were behind me, my parents were there, so I felt very comfortable after the situation,” he recalled. “A lot of emotions running through a lot of people.”
Old Dominion issued a statement Saturday night updating Essien’s status following their 81-75 win at Peach State.
“Imo Essien was evaluated by ODU Athletic Training staff along with GA Southern medical staff,” the school said.
Georgia Southern players alongside Essien’s Old Dominion teammates were initially distraught
“He was responsive throughout and was able to sit with the team for the duration of the game and drive home with the team. He is in good spirits and will be working with the ODU Sports Medicine Staff when they return to Norfolk.’
According to WTKR, Essien was scheduled to see a cardiologist on Monday to assess his return to court for the Monarchs.
Jones told the North Carolina outlet that Essien’s “life signs were normal and he never lost consciousness.”
The sophomore also underwent a COVID test, which came back negative.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/college-basketball/article-11621929/Old-Dominion-basketball-player-Imo-Essien-returns-practice-just-FOUR-DAYS-collapsing.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Veteran Dominion basketball player Imo Essien returns to practice just FOUR DAYS after collapsing