basketball Edit

Sudden Injury Halts Star Studded Matchup

BROOKVILLE, NY - On Sunday, Long Island Lutheran hosted New Jersey powerhouse Roselle Catholic. The crowd was packed, tons of media and scouts were at the game. This was one of the best atmosphere’s we’ve been to in a while LuHi even had a live band there pumping up the place.

We got a chance to see major stars like 6’4” North Carolina commit Simeon Wilcher ‘23, 6’8” Duke bound Mackenzie Mgbako ‘23 and 6’8” Arizona State commit Akil Watson ‘23. That’s just the Lions top guys and they have even more fire power on that roster. The Crusaders have gotten terrific play from 6’4” SG VJ Edgecombe ‘24 who we told you was ready to pop, 6’8” UConn commit Jayden Ross ‘23 and 6” PG Jayden Reid ‘23.

When the game started Watson drilled a three, Mbako nailed a jumper but rolled his ankle and did not return. Reid got loose for a score, the Lions answered when Edgecombe finished a tough basket inside. Watson hit a pair of free throws as RC lead 9-4 with 4:30 remaining. Ross converted a pair of free throws, Edgecombe got ahead of the defense for an acrobatic dunk, but Wilcher was able to convert of 1/2 at the line. Ross hit a three, LuHi got a big and1 then grabbed an offensive rebound for putback.

LuHi’s late run gave them a 16-10 advantage and the Lions were scrambling a bit. The second quarter began as the Lions came up empty, LuHi hit a three and an RC player was down at mid court as LuHi finished a dunk on the other end.

Initially it looked as if the player got tripped up because most people were following the ball. Unfortunately, 6’7” Tarik Watson ‘24 of Roselle Catholic was the Lion down. Each team’s coaching staff responded immediately as trainers and paramedics rushed to his aid. This was the first time we’ve ever seen a player collapse in this fashion, and it was very scary scene.

The paramedics took Watson away in an ambulance as the teams went to the locker room. Shortly after Head Coach of LuHi John Buck had the gym say a prayer for Watson and canceled the game. This was the right move, especially with Watson having his older brother on the team plus the entire Lions family concerned.

We want to give a ton of credit to the medical staff, paramedics, coaches, and everyone who assisted. While it isn’t right to speculate we did hear he gave a thumbs up sign and did not need assistance from an AED. Our prayers and thoughts are with Watson and the entire Roselle Catholic community.