South Carolina State player collapses on court

The South Carolina State Bulldogs basketball team played the North Carolina State Wolfpack at PNC Arena on Dec. 2. Seven minutes into the first half, 5’10” junior guard Tyvoris Solomon collapsed onto the court while sitting on the bench where he suffered cardiac arrest, lying unconscious and unresponsive.

Solomon started the game and was substituted out at the 16:02 mark of the first half. After being substituted out, he appeared disoriented and overheated. Coaches and teammates started fanning Solomon with their jackets and towels. A few minutes later, with 13:08 to play, medical officials were examining NC State guard Markell Johnson for an apparent knee injury. That was quickly forgotten when the PA announcer called for doctors to come to the SC State bench. Solomon’s heart stopped beating, and EMS personnel began to administer CPR with an automated external defibrillator.

The arena fell silent, only filled by cries of players and Solomon’s mother, who was in the row behind the bench. NC State head coach, Kevin Keatts, consoled Bulldogs head coach Murray Garvin, who was visibly upset.

“Basketball becomes secondary in a scenario like that,” said Keatts.

After three minutes without a heartbeat, he was resuscitated, stabilized and carted off on a stretcher to an ambulance. He was rushed to REX hospital in Raleigh, accompanied with head coach of the Bulldogs, Murray Garvin who reported that he was “awake and responding”.

“It was really scary to see someone go through that all of a sudden,” said Sean Herbst, freshman.

Once Solomon’s condition was stabilized both teams evacuated the court and were sent to their locker rooms. SC State players were faced with the option of whether to continue the game or not. The players unanimously chose to continue.

“We’ll do what Ty would do. Ty would tell us to go out there and play. That was the response the guys gave us. We let them decide. It was an absolute unanimous response. Not one person raised their hand to say they didn’t want to play,” said South Carolina State assistant coach Rio Pitt.

After a 40 minute delay the South Carolina State players re-entered the court with a standing  ovation from the crowd. The game continued and as the outcome became less and less important the Bulldogs were defeated 103-71.

Solomon’s condition at the hospital was stable and he was released early that next week.