Jan 29, 2015
Helmets on the Hardcourt

While watching a college football game last November, University of Louisville Head Athletic Trainer Fred Hina saw a football player who had suffered a previous concussion go down with another after being hit. Hina figured if a football player wearing a helmet could get multiple concussions like that, what chance does a basketball player with multiple concussions have with no protection? So, after a little research he came up with the idea to have previously concussed Louisville players wear mixed martial arts helmets at practice.
The black padded soft helmets are made of plastic foam, have air holes on the top, and look like a cross between a skateboard and motocross helmet. Hina took the concept to Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino, who with three players on the roster having already suffered multiple concussions, gave him the go ahead to use the helmets in practices.

Players are not mandated to don the headwear, but Peyton Siva, Tim Henderson and Elisha Justice all wear the helmets during any drill that might involve contact.

“We’re just trying to be proactive and keep our multiple (concussions) down to a minimum, limit our risk,” Hina told ESPN.com. “It may be overkill, but I really think you’re going to see it more and more with the focus being on head injuries.

“Really, it’s no different than putting an ankle brace on a guy that’s had three or four ankle sprains,” Hina added. “You’re just trying to limit your risk and hopefully cut down on the possibility of that occurring again.”

We interviewed Hina about his work with the Louisville men’s basketball team and Head Coach Rick Pitino in 2008. You can find it here.

Shop see all »

75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
website development by deyo designs
Interested in receiving the print or digital edition of Training & Conditioning?

Subscribe Today »

Be sure to check out our sister sites: