Tough break

Clapham Bulls guard suffers serious injury to ankle

A horrific injury to Burger King Clapham Bulls’ guard Daniel Lovell marred last night’s set of games in the Co-operators General Insurance knockout competition.

In what has been described as the “worst foot injury ever seen in basketball in Barbados”, Lovell appeared to break his right ankle after landing awkwardly on the foot of Orange 3 Pinelands’ Ramon Simmons, as he attempted to block Simmons’ fast-break layup.

Daniel Lovell being taken from the court.
Daniel Lovell being taken from the court.

The accident, which occurred at 7.50 p.m at the Wildey Gymnasium with Pinelands leading 50-44 and under a minute to go in the third quarter, left his ankle bent almost 90 degrees, and drew gasps and screams from both spectators and players.

Upon viewing his mangled foot, some of the players and one of the referees immediately covered their faces and ran away from the scene.

While an ambulance arrived 30 minutes later to stretcher Lovell away to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, he appeared to be in high spirits, smiling and giving a “thumbs up” to his teammates and friends who had gathered around him to lend words of encouragement.

According to Roger “Skywalker” Walker, a former Lakers player and coach who has been watching basketball for the past 40 years, it was the worst foot injury he had ever seen.

“I’ve seen hands broken, but I have never seen a player’s foot broken like that. In my over 40 years of watching basketball, that has to be the worst foot injury I have ever seen in Barbados,” he told Barbados TODAY shortly after witnessing the incident.

Walker, who broke his wrist in two places while playing in a game in 1996, said while it looked like Lovell would definitely miss the remainder of the season, it didn’t appear to be a career ending injury for the 26 year-old swingman.

“The hardest part for him coming back will not be the physical part, it will be the mental aspect,” he added.

However, he said he hoped the incident would now prompt the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association to have emergency personnel on standby when games were played.

“They say from every bad comes good and I would really hope that this shows the association that there needs to be specialists present when basketball games are being played,” Walker insisted.

“We aren’t living in the dark ages anymore.”

Bulls’ coach Barry Rock, who stayed by Lovell’s side throughout the incident, described it as “very unfortunate”.

He said some of Lovell’s teammates didn’t take it very well.

“That was very hard to see, especially considering how much hard work he had put in in the pre-season. It is really unfortunate for him,” a seemingly dazed Rock admitted.

“Some of the guys handled it well, but others didn’t handle it as well and that is expected because these guys are a team and they have played together for a while.

“But we will have to pull ourselves together and go from here,” he noted.

Despite a spirited rally by the Bulls when the game resumed at 8:30 p.m, which was led by a 31-point performance from floor general Rahiim Gibbons, they still went down 69-62 to Pinelands.

For the Pine, Jeremy Gill and Simmons each had 20 points, while Hally Franklyn added 14.

Pan American Life Insurance Warrens Sports Club also booked their spot in the semi-finals with an exciting 64-62 victory over the Station Hill Cavaliers in the nightcap game.

In a thrilling finish, the Cavs’ Jamai Puckerin missed two game-tying free throws with 17 seconds left in the game.

But Warren’s towering 6’11 center Pearson Griffith, left the game open after he too missed both of his shots from the charity stripe after being intentionally fouled with five seconds remaining.

But Jason Smith’s long distance heave fell well short of the rim, sending a new look Warrens outfit into the final four.

For the winners both Manuel Alleng and Adrian Allman had 14 points, while Darren Hunte scored 15 points and Puckerin had 12 for the Cavs.

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