NC teen still in critical condition days after dunking accident in championship game

Christian Martin was in critical but stable condition Sunday, but showed improvement Monday. Fox8 video screenshot
Christian Martin was in critical but stable condition Sunday, but showed improvement Monday. Fox8 video screenshot

This story was updated March 14 to note the teen’s condition.

The North Carolina teen who fell on his head while dunking the ball during a state championship basketball game Saturday remained unconscious in a hospital on Thursday, according to updates posted on Facebook.

Southwest Guilford High said Thursday that senior Christian Martin is still listed in critical but stable condition, according to his mother.

The school reported on Facebook that he showed some improvement Monday, but is not allowed to have visitors.

“He is no longer on a ventilator, but is still sedated,” said the school’s Facebook post. “Latest MRI shows no more bleeding on the brain.”

The injury occurred March 9 during the second quarter of the state 3A boys West Regional high school basketball final between Southwest Guilford and Concord Cox Mill at Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Shuford Gymnasium, according to the Charlotte Observer.

“Christian Martin glided to the basket for an apparent dunk. He leaped into the air and missed the dunk, then got a hand caught in the netting,” reported the Observer’s Steve Lyttle. “Martin...fell to the floor, landing on his head. He appeared to lose consciousness briefly.”

The 6-foot-3 teen left the court on a stretcher and “the two teams gathered in a circle at center court and prayed,” Lyttle wrote.

Southwest Guilford Coach Guy Shavers told Fox8 that it felt like Martin’s fall played out in slow motion and shocked the stadium into silence.

It’s believed the teen landed in the worst way, “on his head and neck,” Shavers told WXII.

“I’ve seen people fall but never quite to that point,” he was quoted telling WXII. “It was definitely a freak accident...The momentum carried him out and his legs went out and so he couldn’t hold onto the rim anymore and he just started to free fall.”

Shavers is hopeful Martin will start rehabilitation by the end of the week, but the healing process will likely be slow, he told the station.

A GoFundMe page, credited to the Southwest Guilford High School Athletic Booster Club, was launched Tuesday to raise $7,000 for medical costs.

“Christian has been hospitalized since and it is unknown when he will be discharged,” says the GoFundMe page. “While he is healing, his road to recovery will be long and require our financial support.”

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