CHESTERTON | In the current sports medicine landscape, head injuries dominate the headlines due to the risk of potentially long-lasting side effects.
After suffering a pair of concussions last season, Chesterton guard Jocelyn Lipscomb has first-hand knowledge of the issue.
The senior played six games for the Trojans last year, lost after a game against Michigan City in her first game back after recovering from her first concussion. Lipscomb didn’t see the court again during this season.
“I’d say the hardest part about it was not being able to be there for my team, just having to sit and watch,” Lipscomb said. “Recovering from it, it didn’t take long to get back into it. The team was really supportive about it.
“It affected my memory a lot, but that was mostly my schoolwork. Basketball wasn’t too bad.”
Fortunately for Lipscomb and the Trojans, long-term side effects haven’t been an issue for the senior sharpshooter. In seven games for Chesterton (4-3) this season, Lipscomb is averaging 10.7 points.
“It feels great,” Lipscomb said. “I feel like we have really good chemistry. It wasn’t hard to come back at all.”
Though Lipscomb hasn’t dealt with any ill effects this season, concussions remain a concern for the entire Chesterton girls basketball program, which suffered double-digit concussions or injuries with concussion-like symptoms last season.
In hopes of preventing another head injury, Lipscomb now wears a Full90-brand protective device during all practices, scrimmages and games. The device is similar to a padded headband and was originally designed to help prevent concussions in soccer players. Teammate Caroline Puntillo also wears the safety gear.
“I have been hit in the head a couple times while wearing it and I don’t even feel it. That’s a great thing,” Lipscomb said. “I would encourage anyone to wear it. I don’t even notice that I’m wearing it anymore. It definitely helps.”
Trojans coach Jack Campbell is glad to have his senior guard back healthy and producing.
“Everyone is certainly concerned about the concussion symptoms,” Campbell said. “A lot of girls wear them for soccer now. It’s just a preventive kind of thing. It certainly gives (Lipscomb) more confidence because she doesn't have to worry about that having that happen again.
“Besides being such an offensive player, she has done a great job defensively for us. With some of the defenses we run, where she plays at the top of the defense is really instrumental. Not everyone can play it the way she does, but she’s just done a fantastic job.”
Playing well and finally feeling good, Lipscomb is excited about where the season could take her team.
“We’re a short team, but we play really well together,” the 5-foot-7 Lipscomb said. “I can see us going pretty far at sectionals.”