By Ken Reed
Klay Thompson, one-half of the Golden State Warriors’ “Splash Brothers,” is dealing with the lingering effects of a concussion as his team prepares for the NBA Finals against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers this week.
That, in and of itself, isn’t a big newsflash. Concussions are part of sports these days. What is news is that Thompson was cleared by Golden State medical officials to go back into the game with the Houston Rockets last week. Fortunately, Thompson never reentered the game because the Warriors were comfortably ahead and coach Steve Kerr didn’t think it was necessary to put Thompson back in the game. I say fortunately because soon after the game, Thompson began to get dizzy and then threw up a couple times. He indeed did have a concussion. Reentering the game could have put him at danger for Second Impact Syndrome, a scary condition that can result in serious brain damage, and even death, if another concussion results shortly after the first.
There are a couple lessons here for youth and high school athletes and coaches. One, concussion symptoms can be delayed. Most delayed symptoms present themselves within 12-24 hours but they can take up to three days to appear. So, it’s important that any athlete that takes a blow to the head is closely monitored for the first few days after the head trauma. Two, youth and high school sports teams need a simple and effective concussion screening test in order to lessen the chances that an athlete will return to play too soon.
The King-Devick test fits the bill. The King-Devick test is an inexpensive, quick (approximately two minutes) and accurate test for concussion detection and evaluation on the sidelines of sporting events. Just as importantly, it’s easy to administer — for almost anyone. You don’t have to be a medical professional in order to administer the test to an athlete. Youth parents and youth and high school coaches can do it after a minimum of instruction. Moreover, the test is only five to ten dollars a year for each athlete.
The King-Devick Test has also been proven to pick up “silent concussions.” These are brain injuries that have occurred in athletes despite the lack of typical concussion symptoms. As such, a coach or parent could quickly test an athlete after a big hit even if the athlete isn’t wobbly or experiencing any other obvious effect from that hit.
The fact is, the vast majority of youth and high school sports contests today don’t have any medical personnel on the sidelines. That’s another reason why the use of the King-Devick test is important.
I urge you to share this information with every youth and high school sports administrator and coach you know. It could prevent a lot of tragic consequences for young athletes and their families.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Episode #20 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Youth and High School Sports Based On What’s Best for the Athlete’s Holistic Development – We chat with long-time youth, high school and college basketball coach Jim Huber.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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