LATEST: Duke’s main man injured in court storming after a devastating loss to Wake Forest

Kyle Filipowski - 2023-24 - Men's Basketball - Duke University

Duke’s Kyle Filipowski injured his knee on Saturday as Wake Forest supporters rushed to the middle of the court following the Demon Deacons’ 83-79 victory over the Blue Devils in Winston-Salem, NC. In an apparent security lapse, fans swarmed the court before the clock ran out, trapping Filipowski in the middle of a stampede around midcourt. Teammates rushed to his aid, having to assist him to the locker room as he staggered on one leg.

“I felt a bunch of hits on my body,” Filipowski told Greensboro, North Carolina-based CBS affiliate WFMY. “This was the worst of all. As I previously stated, the way the problem has been handled is simply ludicrous. I’ve already heard that there are films of (me) being pounded in the back, so I believe it was personal and intentional. There’s no reason why they can’t work around a large guy like myself who is attempting to work his way off the floor. There is no reason for that.”

Filipowski was in discomfort following the incident and had one arm around a Duke employee as he made his way back through the tunnel to the locker room. Teammates and coaches spotted he had been clipped during the court storming and attempted to brush off eager and seemingly ignorant Wake supporters.

“When are we going to ban court-storming?” Duke coach Jon Scheyer inquired after the game. “It’s a dangerous thing.”
Scheyer went on to say that he is currently unaware of Filipowski’s future plans.

“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,” Wake Forest athletic director John Currie said in a statement provided by the school. “I called Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Nina King and ACC Senior Associate Commissioner Paul Brazeau immediately following the game to express our deep regret for the incident and our concern for the Duke student-athlete’s well-being. Although our event management and security teams had practiced postgame protocols to protect the visiting team and officials, we plainly needed to do better.

I appreciate Duke Head Coach Jon Scheyer’s postgame comments, and I completely agree that more has to be done to address the national phenomena of court and field storming, and Wake Forest looks forward to participating in those discussions.

ACC commissioner Jim Phillips also published a statement following the game, expressing worry over player safety and seemingly calling for an investigation into modifications to postgame routines.

“The safety of our student-athletes is always our top priority,” Phillips stated. “We have been and will continue to be in communication with Duke and Wake Forest about what happened after today’s game. We have witnessed far too many situations that endanger persons in college athletics, and it will take the collaboration of everyone – including fans – to assure everyone’s safety. As a conference, we will continue to consult with our institutions about the best strategy to protect our student-athletes, coaches, and fans.”
“When I played, at least it was 10 seconds before people stormed the court,” Scheyer told ESPN. “Now, the buzzer doesn’t even go off and they’re running down the floor.”

Filipowski led the club in points and rebounds per game this season, scoring a team-high 17 in the loss. The former five-star prospect is in his second season with the program and is anticipated to be a top-20 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

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