Division III basketball player Meredith Blaise is a locally well-known athlete from North Central College. But after a gut-wrenching incident that occurred in a recent game, everyone around the world now knows who he is.
Chrishawn Orange, a player from Augustana College, was rushing down the court, dribbling toward the hoop with Blaise in hot pursuit. As the Augustana athlete charged the lane to toss up the ball and hopefully make his shot, the 6-foot-4 Blaise, a guard, leaped into the air to try and block the shot.
The problem is that as Blaise became airborne, Orange slowed down, causing Blaise to hit his hip on Orange's shoulder, essentially propelling him even further upward. This player can definitely get air with or without the extra boost.
While Blaise tried to knock the ball out of the way, he also almost knocked his teeth out when he slammed his face full speed into the bottom of the backboard. This NBA hopeful, who is eligible for the draft in 2021, had literally no time to react as he smashed his face against the underside of that backboard.
After he whacked his face on the backboard – you can even hear the thud -- he crashed onto his back on the court. Presumably dazed and confused, Meredith laid there for a moment. Shockingly, he cautiously stood up and with a bit of assistance, Blaise walked off the court to be further checked out by trainers.The crowd applauded his effort. Even the players stood around him in disbelief at what just happened in this freak accident. KWQC-TV reported that Meredith even returned to the game a short time later.
Despite his best efforts, Blaise's team lost 76-59. Still, people praised Meredith on Twitter.
"Oh my. Serious respect for North Central's Meredith Blaise – doing hard on defense and clearly insanely athletic. Honestly surprised I haven't seen this before," one person tweeted.
Sports Illustrated described it as "brutal."
"And I get excited when I can jump up and touch the bottom of the net," a Twitter user commented.
"Defying the laws of gravity," another wrote.
"I've shot basketball for almost 22 years and have never seen this happen," another tweeted after seeing the video for the first time.
Sports Nation shared the video on Facebook, too, which drew a slew of comments. One reader testified that he hit his head on the backboard once.
"I was climbing the ladder to put the net up," he jokingly commented.