There's major controversy over an incident in a Boston girls' basketball playoff game, in which New Mission High School's star player was injured during the fourth quarter. She was examined by the other team's trainer and diagnosed with a concussion—falsely diagnosed, says New Mission's athletic director—and forced to leave the game. New Mission would give up the lead, and was eliminated. The facts are in dispute, but the story could have major implications in a sporting landscape where the treatment head trauma is the hot-button issue.
The game took place on Friday, when New Mission traveled to Shawsheen HS for a state tournament. Early in the fourth, New Mission guard DeAndra Humphries, who averages 17 points and 12 rebounds per game, was poked in the eye. Because teams don't travel with their own trainers, Humphries was given a concussion exam by Shawsheen's trainer. He told her she had a concussion, and she was benched for the rest of the game. Humphries says she was fine:
"I started crying when they told me I had a concussion because I knew I didn't have one," Humphries said yesterday. "They asked me if I was all right and I said yes. They asked me if I knew where I was and I told them. They had me stick out my tongue and move my eyeballs around and did that. They then asked if the light was hurting me and I told them no.
"I just couldn't believe they wouldn't let me back in the game."
Shawsheen came back from an eight-point deficit to win by two. Humphries went to the hospital after the game, where it was confirmed that she did not have a concussion. New Mission AD Cory McCarthy was astonished.
"She was very coherent. She was jumping up and down cheering for her teammates. I know what a kid with a concussion looks like and that wasn't it," McCarthy said.
McCarthy has filed formal complaints with the league, claiming Humphries's injury was purposely exaggerated to deprive New Mission of its best player. In response to the accusations, Shawsheen released a statement saying that "an independent and qualified medical athletic trainer made a decision to remove a player who had no response to standard cognitive concussion questions."
A league spokesperson also dismissed McCarthy's complaints, and no action is expected to be taken.
School: Player unfairly benched for concussion [Boston Herald]