October 29, 2020
Baylor senior guards injured after collision
Reigning Defensive Player of the Year DiDi Richards out indefinitely with a spinal injury
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DiDi Richards Twitter Account in 2018
Baylor seniors DiDi Richards and Moon Ursin suffered injuries after colliding in practice on Oct. 24, according to a statement from the program. Richards suffered a Spinal Cord Injury Without Radiographic Abnormality (SCIWORA), which is a shock to the spinal cord that causes temporary impairment.
Richards was treated and released from the University’s hospital. The team said Richards is making progress on her injury but is out indefinitely from participating in basketball activities. SCIWORA is a spinal cord injury in which the MRI fails to reveal any broken bones, and among adults, there is typically rapid resolution. There is, however, a high incidence of recurrence with the injury, and there are no established treatment guidelines for SCIWORA.
On the basketball side, this is a hitch into the plans of Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey. Richards is the defending National Defensive Player of the Year and was expected to become an even larger part of the Lady Bears’ offensive gameplan in the upcoming season. During a press conference earlier this week, Mulkey said she expected Richards to play some minutes at the point this season as the most experienced guard on the roster.
“She’s not a point guard, but she is the most experienced player I have,” Mulkey said. “So DiDi is going to be asked to do a lot of things. She already has been asked to do a lot of things in her career but she’s going to have to play four positions possibly for us.”
Ursin suffered a concussion from the collision and is in concussion protocol. The team did not provide a timetable for either player. The guard played valuable minutes off the bench last season and is one of just two active players on the roster with more than 10 career three-pointers to her name.
Earlier this week, Ursin said she was ready to take on a larger role for the program after averaging 5.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game last season.
Of course, with the news of injuries to two essential guards, Mulkey will have to ask even more out of graduate transfer DiJonai Carrington. The former Stanford standout averaged 14.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game in her last healthy season, but missed most of her senior campaign due to a nagging knee injury.
Coach Mulkey will address the media Monday to clarify more information regarding the injury. Baylor’s season tips off on Nov. 25 with a home game against Central Arkansas.