Last Updated on January 9, 2023

A scary scene unfolded during a men’s basketball game between Georgia Southern and Old Dominion when a player for the latter collapsed and clutched his chest mid-game.

The incident occurred almost midway through the first half with about 13 minutes remaining.  At that point, Old Dominion Sophomore guard Imo Essien collapsed while defending and appeared to be in pain.

Medical personnel immediately rushed onto the court and tended to Essien, who never appeared to lose consciousness. He was soon able to be helped to his feet and made his way over to the team’s sideline.

After a trip to the locker-room, Essien later joined his team on the sideline and sat on the bench for the duration of the game.

“Imo Essien was evaluated by the ODU Athletic Training staff along with the GA Southern medical staff,” the school said. “He was responsive throughout and was able to sit with the team for the duration of the game and drove home with the team.”

“He is in good spirits and will work with the ODU Sports Medicine Staff when they return to Norfolk,” the statement continued.

Essien joined Old Dominion before the start of the 2021-22 season and averaged about 7.1 minutes per game. His minutes increased this season to 29.4 per game which has led to an increase in scoring average from 1.2 to 5.4 points per game, according to Fox Sports.

On Sunday, the university announced that Essien would be visiting with a cardiologist to undergo examination and help determine his next steps in a path to return, according to Monarchs’ head coach Jeff Jones.

he sophomore was held out of practice with a non-COVID illness early last week, but had recovered and had a “great” practice on Wednesday, Jones said.

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