Sophomore guard Khaliq Gant of the men’s basketball team was airlifted to Arnot Ogden Medical Center in Elmira after suffering a neck injury during Tuesday’s practice at Newman Arena.
The injury occurred right before 6:07 p.m. during a drill, as Gant collided with several teammates for a loose ball.
Athletic trainer Marc Chamberlain was on hand and provided immediate treatment for Gant while the emergency services were called.
Transferred carefully first by stretcher, then by ambulance from the practice courts to Cornell’s Alumni Fields, Gant was then airlifted to Arnot Ogden. At the hospital, he received an MRI and was placed in the intensive care unit, where he remains as of early yesterday evening.
The hospital refused to comment on Gant’s status and would not give an official diagnosis.
Head coach Steve Donahue, who spent most of the day with Gant at the hospital, was unavailable for comment, as were the rest of Gant’s teammates and coaches.
Cornell Director of Athletic Communications Jeremy Hartigan did have some information on the sequence of Tuesday’s events and Gant’s current condition.
“When they brought him in, he was stable. He had sensation in all of his extremities, [and] at no point did he lose consciousness, all of which are good signs,” Hartigan said.
Hartigan declined to speak further on Gant’s condition and outlook so early after the accident, saying more would be known in the next 24 to 48 hours after the swelling in Gant’s neck had gone down and his condition could be reassessed.
“I think everybody is trying to be very positive right now and the signs that we’ve seen, that we understand, right now, are good. The doctors are cautiously optimistic, I think,” Hartigan said. “I think everyone’s just kind of hoping for the best.”
After the initial tests and treatment, Gant’s teammates were allowed to visit him in the hospital.
“A lot of the players went into the room and were joking around with him and he was in really great spirits,” Hartigan said. “He was joking around and he even asked for his iPod and some specific foods.”
Cornell crisis counselors were made available for all of the players after Tuesday’s practice.
Gant’s parents, Dean and Dana Gant, reside in Georgia. They are expected to arrive in Elmira soon and the university is making an effort to assist them in their travel plans according to Hartigan.
Wearing No. 21 for the Red, Gant has played in all 17 games this season for Cornell, averaging 2.2 points, 1.1 assists and 14.4 minutes per game.
Archived article by Paul Testa
Sun Staff Writer