September 06, 2011
Like game-winning shots or jaw-dropping dunks, gruesome injuries frequently remain embedded in the memory of basketball fans years after they happen.
Few who saw Villanova guard Allan Ray's eye get poked out of its socket against Pittsburgh in 2006 have been able to purge that sight from their minds. The same goes for anyone who witnessed the ghastly broken right tibia and fibula Texas A&M guard Derrick Roland sustained at Washington in 2009. And on Monday, former Louisville guard Edgar Sosa became the latest unlucky player to suffer an injury so horrifying that video of it will force anyone with a squeamish stomach to shield their eyes.
In the final seconds of the Dominican Republic's victory over Panama on Monday at the FIBA Americas Tournament, Sosa drove to the rim, collided with an opposing player and crashed to the floor. He sustained an open fracture of his tibia and fibula and was carted off the floor as players from both teams buried their heads in towels, wiped tears from their eyes or looked on in disbelief.
"I've been through one other thing like this and that's when Marcus Camby passed out in the hallway during warm-ups," Calipari said. "We didn't know if he had died of a heart attack. That just ripped me apart. This is the same thing."
The timing of Sosa's injury is especially devastating because he'd been playing well for the Dominican team and hoped to parlay a strong performance in this tournament into the chance to try out for an NBA team after the lockout. Sosa averaged 8.8 points per game in the tournament and had 13 against Panama on Monday prior to his injury.
About the only good news to emerge from the game was that Sosa apparently was in good spirits afterward despite the injury. Calipari tweeted this photo of a smiling Sosa giving a thumbs up from his hotel bed.