Scottie Lewis’s experience at the Nike Skills Academy last week started excellently as he wowed executives with his speed, length, and determination but it ended with a terrifying moment that saw a stretcher coming to help him off the court.
With the camp winding down Villanova wing Saddiq Bey had a breakaway that was looking like a certain dunk. However, Lewis’ competitiveness wasn’t going to allow a layup even in an offseason camp and he sprinted after Bey before timing his leap to contest the attempt. Unfortunately Lewis got spun around in midair before landing on his neck/head area making for a frightening scene that had trainers running to his aid. A stretcher came to assist him off the court but it seems he’s going to be alright and the stretcher was just for precautionary reasons.
Obviously this was a scary moment for Lewis as well as for Gator fans. Head and neck injuries are always scary and seeing Lewis lying on the floor after an awkward play in the air was a sight I’d love to never see again. The word around the event is that he would only need about a week to recover from the fall but I’m not entirely sure what that means given that the injury took place in the final session of the camp and it’s not like he needs to get healthy for anything in particular in the coming days. I’m sure Florida will be closely in touch monitoring the situation but people at the event weren’t concerned with any future trouble for Lewis.
The Nike Skills Academy is an event with top high school, college, and NBA players and it was a valuable experience for Lewis, even with the unfortunate injury. For most of the scrimmages he was guarding former Gator Bradley Beal and DeMar DeRozan and Lewis was clearly up for the challenge playing quality defense and trash talking his NBA opposition at every opportunity. Offensively Lewis looked quite rushed and wasn’t awfully comfortable on that end but he defense and competitiveness had a lot of people at the event intrigued with his potential.
It was that competiveness that played a role in his dangerous fall. Most players wouldn’t have chased down someone on a breakaway in a game that didn’t matter and it happened really late in the event, literally with less than 15 minutes remaining in the final session. While his competitive fire might put him in some dangerous positions at times it’s that same fire that also puts him in a mindset to do whatever it takes to win and makes him such a special player.
I’m not anticipating there being any long-term consequences from the fall but it will definitely be something to monitor in the future. It looked terrifying, as most head injury-type falls do, but Lewis is tough and flexible and it that could have been what kept him from serious injury.