MIDDLETON, Wis. — A 14-year-old basketball player is recovering after a freak accident during a game. The girl fell and was partially impaled by a splintered floorboard.
“I mean, there’s no rhyme or reason to this one,” tournament organizer Perry Hibner said.
The gym was filled with confusion after the girl went flying into the floor and couldn’t get up.
“And the official said, ‘What do you mean? Are you hurt?’ And she’s like, ‘There’s a piece of wood stuck to me,” Hibner said.
The board had split in the middle and stuck into the girl from Wisconsin Heights, Wis. Her mom, the coach, was quickly by her side.
“It was 3 to 4 inches long and in some parts, probably a quarter to a half inch deep,” Hibner said.
Minutes later, emergency crews showed up and everyone was asked to leave the gym.
“We thought they were going to have to remove an entire board and take the board to the hospital,” Hibner said.
That didn’t have to happen, but the eighth-grader was loaded on a stretcher and spent the night at the hospital. None of her internal organs were hit by the wood.
“I don’t know if we’ll ever hear something like this ever happening again anywhere,” Hibner said.
Hibner is especially surprised it happened in the gym, where the floor is just 15 years old. A replacement sliver of wood was glued in and garbage cans were put in place until a permanent fix is made.
“I’ve got a tournament here in two weeks, and I have every belief that we’ll be playing on this court that as well,” Hibner said.
Hibner is confident the rest of the court will hold up and said he doesn’t expect any legal action against the school district.
“Kind of like a strike of lightning where you just don’t think those things are going to happen. It was a complete fluke,” Hibner said. “I just think sometimes strange things happen and there’s no explanation for the phenomena.”
Even though it was a scary situation for players and parents, Hibner said the girl who was injured is expected to be ready to play in the near future.