North Carolina coach Roy Williams collapsed near the end of the first half of their game against Clemson on Saturday afternoon in South Carolina.
With just one minute left in the half, Williams collapsed to one knee in front of the Tar Heels’ bench. Play was quickly stopped after Clemson coach Brad Brownell got the official’s attention, pointing to Williams.
Assistant coaches and staff helped Williams up and off the court to the locker room. He received a standing ovation and waved to the crowd on his way off the floor.
Scary to see Roy Williams go down in the first half. Hope he’s OK. Collapsed on the sideline and was helped back to the locker room. pic.twitter.com/iX3GEZMvvF
— Kyle Boone (@Kyle__Boone) March 2, 2019
Oh no. Roy Williams just went down at Clemson on a knee, helped off the court. Waves to crowd but clearly not well. He's had some of these episodes before
— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) March 2, 2019
Scary moment in UNC's game as Roy Williams had to be helped off the court after dropping to one knee.
Williams has previously been diagnosed with vertigo. pic.twitter.com/xhukXcM8LK
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 3, 2019
The university later confirmed that Williams did have a vertigo spell. He did not return in the second half, and longtime assistant coach Steve Robinson took Williams’ place at the helm for the Tar Heels.
Coach Williams has had a vertigo attack. Unsure if he will return for the second half.
— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) March 3, 2019
The 68-year-old coach has had trouble with benign positional vertigo spells in the past, most notably in the second half of their game against Boston College in 2016.
No. 5 North Carolina, after grabbing just a four-point lead at halftime, held on to beat Clemson 81-79 for its fifth-straight win.
Williams spoke to the media after the game, and said he was trying to substitute a player into the game when the vertigo spell hit.
“I just want everybody to know I’m alive,” Williams said after the game. “I’m not going to croak on anybody. It’s vertigo. I guess two or three years ago at Boston College, it was the same thing ... I went down. It was an excruciating pain for a little while. I started feeling a heck of a lot better, but [Robinson] was up six or seven and I didn’t want to jinx him.”
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