The news coming out of Conte Forum after UNC’s 82-70 win over Boston College last night has less to do with the outcome of the game itself as it does the terrifying collision between PJ Hairston and Dexter Strickland.
Hairston went for a steal along the baseline and missed, and as he tried to chase down Patrick Heckmann, he collided with Strickland, the help defender, at full speed. Essentially, Strickland clotheslined him with an elbow to the jaw, which sent him crashing to the floor. He landed on his back and his head whipped against the court.
Hairston couldn’t stand up on his own afterwards, nearly falling when he tried to walk, and didn’t open his eyes after the collision. It was scary enough for anyone watching, so imagine being his mother, who was actually in attendance. He was eventually taken off on a stretcher.
The diagnosis is a concussion. Hairston didn’t return to the game, but he did sit up and walk around, eventually returning to the bench with a towel over his head.
It’s unclear how long Hairston is going to be out. Reggie Bullock suffered a concussion earlier this season and missed a week. North Carolina play Virginia Tech on Saturday.
The frustrating part for Hairston is that he was, as Roy Williams put it, “as hot as I’ve ever seen him.” The injury happened with 10 minutes left in the first half. Hairston came off the bench, but still managed 14 points — on 4-4 from beyond the arc — and three assists before the collision.
Thanks to everyone for the support, I’m okay just a very very bad headache….
— PJ Hairston (@Mr_Hairston15) January 30, 2013
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.