Kyle Filipowski injury update: Duke star injured by fan in Wake Forest court storming

No. 8 Duke fell to Wake Forest, 83-79, on Saturday. But the bigger news might be what happened after the game.

Demon Deacons fans stormed the court in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to celebrate the upset. During the excitement, Blue Devils star center Kyle Filipowski appeared to injure be injured after a fan collided with him at midcourt.

The NBA prospect had to be helped off the court after the incident. 

Already in 2024, this marks the second time a star basketball player collided with a fan during a court storming.

Following Ohio State’s win over Iowa in women’s basketball, phenom Caitlin Clark and an Ohio State fan crashed into each other. Clark hurried back to the tunnel, saying later the incident knocked the wind out of her.

DeCOURCY: Clark collision another example why allowing court storms isn’t worth the risk

Duke coach Jon Scheyer took aim at court storming after Saturday’s game. While the former Blue Devils star, who saw his share of such celebrations as a player, said he did not want it to take away from Wake Forest’s performance, he joined a wave of critics calling on the practice to be banned.

‘When are we going to ban court storming? When are we going to ban that?” Scheyer said. “How many times does a player have to get into something where if they get punched or if they get pushed or they get taunted in their face?

“It’s a dangerous thing. You look around the country and Caitlin Clark something happens, now Flip.”

Here’s the latest news on Filipowski’s injury.

Kyle Filipowski injury update

Filipowski injured his knee during the court-storming incident, Scheyer said after the game. (He initially identified the injury as an ankle sprain before later correcting himself.)

The 20-year-old’s status for upcoming games was not immediately known following the injury, Scheyer said.

Video of the incident appears to show Filipowski trying to clear his way to the sideline as fans continued to rush into him, including one fan who seems to reach an arm toward the Duke player and make contact with Filipowski’s back.

Duke is no stranger to court stormings, which often take place when the blue-blood Blue Devils are upset on the road. Filipowski described Saturday’s as “the worst of them” and said he felt “a bunch of hits on my body.” He also felt there was some intention by the fans to make contact with him, he said.

“I’ve already heard that there’s some videos of getting punched in the back and so I absolutely feel like it was personal, intentional for sure,” Filipowski said, per WFMY’s Brian Hall. “There’s no reason where they see a big guy like me trying to work my way off the court and they can’t just work around me. There’s no excuse for that.”

Court-storming controversy

High-profile names in college basketball have taken a stand against court storming in recent years. Such celebrations have  led to player injuries several times, and there have been calls to limit the celebration or ban it entirely as a matter of player safety.

Following Clark’s collision, ESPN’s Jay Bilas said that “fans do not belong the court ever” as he explained the risks of the practice.

“When somebody gets hurt, we’re going to get serious about it,” Bilas said. “When was the last time you saw a field storming in an NFL game? The NBA? Major League Baseball? They don’t do it. They protect the players and we don’t do it in college.”

On Saturday, Filipowski got hurt. And Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes was among those who made it clear he did not support the situation.

“I don’t like court stormings. Never have. I’ve been a part of those before as a coach, just don’t feel safe,” Forbes said. “And I’m sure the next time that happens, we’ll do a better job of taking care of that situation.”

Wake Forest athletic director John Currie issued the following statement to Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde:

“On behalf of Wake Forest, we sincerely regret the unfortunate on-court incident following this afternoon’s men’s basketball game and hope the involved Duke student-athlete is doing better. I called Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Nina King and ACC Senior Associate Commissioner Paul Brazeau immediately after the game and expressed our sincere regret for the situation and our concern for the Duke student-athlete’s well-being. Although our event management staff and security had rehearsed postgame procedures to protect the visiting team and officials, we clearly must do better. I appreciate the postgame comments of Duke Head Coach Jon Scheyer and I am in complete agreement that something more must be done about the national phenomenon of court and field storming and Wake Forest looks forward to being a part of those conversations.”

As the storming was going on, ESPN’s Chris Spatola said the Filipowski injury is “why court storming should not happen.”

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