West Virginia forward Akok Akok is alert and communicating after he suffered what the school called a medical emergency during the Mountaineers’ 85-78 win over George Mason in a charity exhibition on Friday night at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.
Akok collapsed while he was waiting with his teammates for the game to continue after an offensive foul call against the Patriots at the 15:56 mark of the second half. West Virginia medical personnel rushed toward him as he was lying on the court.
Akok was moving on the ground but seemed disoriented as he tried to get back up, prompting West Virginia medical personnel to stop him. The crowd at WVU Coliseum fell silent while Akok was treated and placed on a stretcher.
He was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital.
“I just got briefed with our medical staff,” West Virginia interim coach Josh Eilert said on his radio show after the game. “He’s stable. He’s talking. He’s in a good place. He wanted to wish the guys well and congratulate them. He’s in a good place. But they’re going to monitor him overnight and do a lot of testing overnight to figure out what’s going on. That’s all I’ve got.
“It’s music to my ears that he’s doing good. He’s such a good kid and a great teammate. I never thought I’d see that moment and have to deal with that. It’s heartbreaking.”
The game eventually resumed.
Eilert said he talked with George Mason coach Tony Skinn, who “left it up to me. I made sure the guys were in a good headspace, good enough headspace to continue the game. That was important, and they wanted to play so we decided it was best to move on, try to turn the page.”
Akok started his career at UConn and played for Georgetown last season before transferring to West Virginia.
Proceeds from the West Virginia-George Mason exhibition matchup will go toward WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.