Tarik Watson of Roselle Catholic defends Long Island Lutheran's Jayden Reid during...

Tarik Watson of Roselle Catholic defends Long Island Lutheran's Jayden Reid during a boys basketball game in Brookville on Saturday, January 29, 2023. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

The stunning scenes unfolded Sunday afternoon in front of about 1,000 fans packed in the stands at Long Island Lutheran’s gym.

Tarik Watson, the junior forward and high-level D-I recruit from Roselle Catholic in New Jersey, had collapsed during the basketball game in Glen Head. Athletic trainers, a paramedic and the on-hand ambulance crew began working on him. Watson was immobilized and placed on a stretcher, and then taken to a hospital, but not before raising an arm and thumb for all to see.

The update: So far, it’s positive news. Watson was discharged Monday night.

“Tarik is doing well and is home resting,” Roselle Catholic coach Dave Boff wrote in an email Tuesday to Newsday. “The family is very appreciative of all the support and prayers for him. Hoping to have him back at school soon.”

The game was suspended with 6:16 left in the second quarter. LuHi was leading, 21-10, in the matchup between two teams in the national rankings. The Lions’ hearts and minds were with their ailing teammate and not on continuing to play after Watson left.

Long Island Lutheran coach John Buck has kept in touch with Boff since the medical emergency.

“You don’t like to build a relationship and connect in situations like this, but obviously we’ve had a lot of back and forth,” Buck said. “The Watson family and Roselle were very appreciative of just the care that day. We’re very thankful that we had such a robust staff on-site to be able help him be as safe as possible.”

Buck called the update “as good news as I think you can hope for at this point.”

Todd Huebner, LuHi’s assistant athletic director who was out on the court after Watson collapsed, had said Sunday that the player “lost consciousness for a little bit. But he came back pretty quick.” Buck said Watson had previously “been experiencing migraines,” but he also said there’s “nothing conclusive at this point” as to the cause of the episode.

“I think they’re just going to continue to be running some tests in the coming week to learn more about what caused the incident,” Buck said. “ . . . You can sense a feeling of relief and gratitude [from Boff] that there’s been positive news, and [he] feels very thankful that things were not worse.”

The 12-2 Crusaders will be playing Thursday and Saturday night in the Metro Classic at Kean University in Union, New Jersey. The Saturday night game is at 7 against Calvary Christian Academy of Florida. The game that follows on that court will feature ESPN’s top-ranked team in the nation, Montverde Academy of Florida.

The opponent? Roselle Catholic.


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months