News broke last night (this morning) that former Virginia basketball stand-out, Akil Mitchell, suffered a gruesome eye injury during his game in the New Zealand Basketball League (NBL). Mitchell, who plays for the New Zealand Breakers, was poked in the eye by Cairns’ Nnanna Egwu when the two went up for a routine rebound. Then, the unthinkable happened.
His eyeball came out of socket.
According to ESPN, “...the injury left his teammates visibly upset, along with fans near the baseline.” Mitchell was tended to by team trainers and left the court of his own volition, with a towel covering his head.
Our thoughts go out to Akil Mitchell who has been hospitalised due to an injury sustained during the game. Let's send him all our love team pic.twitter.com/ICcOFsjlz4— SKYCITY Breakers NZ (@NZBreakers) January 26, 2017
Our thoughts are with Akil Mitchell following a terrible eye injury. We will update once we know more. The game will resume in 2mins— NBL (@NBL) January 26, 2017
Luckily, within a couple hours there was an update.
Update: Akil Mitchell is doing well & resting, he can see in that eye, further tests will be done tomorrow. We wish him a speedy recovery!— NBL (@NBL) January 26, 2017
Mitchell was a total trooper in the whole affair, even making jokes to let his fans (worldwide) know he was doing alright.
... too soon? Lol thanks for all the love, well wishes, and prayers tonight. I'm home and seeing fine, more tests tomorrow— akil mitchell (@ajmitchell25) January 26, 2017
Akil, a Charlotte, NC native, was instrumental in putting Virginia basketball back on the map. He finished his career third in games played, seventh in rebounding, and tied for 14th in double-doubles in the Virginia record books. His leadership and contributions on the floor helped the Hoos capture the 2014 ACC regular season and tournament titles, their first ACC tournament championship since 1976.
Video of the injury exists, but just know this before watching:
I can't unsee that. One of the worst sports injuries I've known.#akilmitchell #nzbreakers #nbl #eyeinjury #basketball #breakernation— David Enticott (@thisis_DRE) January 26, 2017
Do yourself a favour and don't try finding the Akil Mitchell video— Daniel Cherny (@DanielCherny) January 26, 2017
We here at Streaking the Lawn hope Akil makes a speedy recovery. Our thoughts are with the big man!