N.C. State’s Jericole Hellems out of hospital, in ‘good spirits’ after scary head injury

Ryan Young
Yahoo Sports
N.C. State's Jericole Hellems was stretchered off the floor after suffering a scary head and back injury late against Wake Forest on Saturday night. (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer/AP)

After a brutal, scary collision late on Saturday night, North Carolina State’s Jericole Hellems is out of the hospital and in “good spirits,” the team announced on Sunday. 

Hellems went up for a rebound with a pair of Wake Forest players with just 28 seconds left in the Wolfpack’s 91-82 win against the Demon Deacons at the LJVM Coliseum, though landed hard on his back and slammed his head on the court. 

“I have no idea [what happened],” said Wake Forest forward Olivier Sarr, who was fighting for the rebound with Hellems when he went down, via CL Brown. “I went there for the rebound, and everybody fell. I don’t know. … We’re praying for him, and hope he’ll get better as soon as possible.”

Play was quickly stopped, and Hellems was stretchered off the floor and taken to a local hospital as a precaution. He was treated there for a back injury and for a possible concussion, and was released late Saturday.  

Hellems will be evaluated again later this week, though the team did not provide a timeline for his return. N.C. State has a full week off before its next game, meaning Hellems could end up missing minimal time. 

Hellems finished the night with 13 points and three rebounds. He’s averaged 12.3 points and 4.1 rebounds this season, his second with the Wolfpack while leading them to a 7-2 start. 

“I didn’t see what happened, and I was able to talk to him,“ N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts said after the game, via CL Brown. “I told him to hang in there. He was talking, he was communicating with those guys. … It’s scary. These are my kids. Anytime you see one of your kids on the floor, man, it’s tough. It was hard for me the last 28 seconds of the game because it was hard for me to focus on the game knowing that we had one of our kids down on the floor.” 

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