Josh Speidel scores first career points (Reports).
University of Vermont basketball player Josh Speidel, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a 2015 car accident, scored the first points of his collegiate career Tuesday night against Albany.
Vermont allowed Albany to win the opening tip and score an uncontested basket. On the ensuing possession, Speidel caught a pass from teammate Everett Duncan and dropped in a shot off the backboard as Albany players looked on.
Players and coaches from both Vermont and Albany embraced Speidel before he walked to the bench.
Speidel, a former prep hoops standout at Indiana’s Columbus North High School, was involved in the devastating car crash when he was a senior in high school. The accident occurred shortly after the three-star recruit committed to play at Vermont.
The car accident left Speidel in a coma for five weeks and nearly killed him, his parents told ESPN. The 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward had to learn to walk and communicate again but has continued to press forward and will graduate from Vermont in May.
“I didn’t get to experience my senior night in high school. I didn’t get to walk out with my parents,” Speidel said before the game, according to the Burlington Free Press. “I don’t think it’s hit me fully yet, but just being able to walk them out and embrace them and thank [my parents], thank [Vermont] coach [John Becker] for all he’s done — it will be pretty emotional. It’s hard to put into words.”
Vermont earned an 85-62 win over Albany on Tuesday night. The Catamounts had already wrapped up the America East regular-season title.