Referee Rick Crawford is just 1 year away from celebrating 20 years as an official and in all of those years, nothing like this has ever happened to him.
During the tip-off of the Barclays Center Classic on Saturday, Vanderbilt center Damian Jones inadvertently struck Crawford in the face with an elbow. Crawford was attended to for roughly 10 minutes before being taken off the court on a stretcher.
Crawford told The Associated Press he “felt an elbow hit me across my right eye and then I just went down,” following the tipoff.
“It was a little scary,” Crawford said, who added he did not have concussion symptoms. “I think after the elbow hit my eye, my head hit the floor. I was fully conscious. I was aware of what was going on. So it was a little scary. Just a little knot over my right eye.”
As for Jones, he had a team-high 16 points and came away with a W.