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Crestwood supports ‘warrior’ Fannin after scary head injuries

Crestwood supports ‘warrior’ Fannin after scary head injuries


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor

Inside one of the scariest moments of his life, all Ty Fannin could think about was his team.

Laying on his back, having just regained consciousness after experiencing a seizure from hitting his head on the court, Fannin looked up at his coach Josh Jakacki and asked, “Did I get the charge?”

The answer to the question was yes.

Sheila Mathers/Special to Portage Sports

In fact, it was a record-setting charge, too, with Fannin becoming the Crestwood boys basketball program’s career leader with 41.

It came during a frightening moment, however, which brought a much more important question to the forefront.

Was Ty Fannin OK?

The answer did not have an immediate answer.

Eventually, and fortunately, a series of scans and tests at UH Geauga Medical Center proved that Fannin had a concussion, but would ultimately be OK.

“It was a scary moment for us. Obviously,” Fannin’s father Shane Fannin said. “But not just for us. These kids all love each other and it affected all of us.”

The injury occurred on Jan. 19 during the Red Devils’ game at Grand Valley.

Near the end of the second quarter, Fannin stepped over from his help-side defensive position to take a charge on a driving Grand Valley player.

Initially, everything appeared like a normal basketball play. Fannin had taken the contact, drawn the charge and landed safely.

As the Grand Valley player attempted to avoid landing or stepping on Fannin, though, his foot made contact with Fannin’s head causing it to hit hard onto the court.

It immediately sent Fannin into a seizure.

His head turned to the side.

His eyes rolled back.

His arms were shaking.

Grand Valley’s trainer rushed onto the court, as did parents Shane and Jill Fannin and Jakacki.

Fannin was immobilized, evaluated and placed on a stretcher to be taken to the hospital by ambulance for further assessment.

“I don’t remember much of anything, to be honest,” Ty Fannin said. “I do remember feeling really tingly everywhere. It was a very weird feeling.”

The Red Devils, who are champions of the Chagrin Valley Conference, went on to win the game, 44-39, then all got on the bus and traveled to the hospital to check on the well being of their teammate and brother.

“The entire team, with all the players and all the coaches, they called and told me that they were parked outside the hospital,” Shane Fannin said. “The coaches came in to check on Ty, and my wife Jill went out to the bus to talk to all of the players and give them an update. This is just a special group of players and a special group of families. They all care so deeply for each other and it feels good to be part of something like that.

“The boys all love each other and get along so well,” Fannin added. “Every parent on the team kept reaching out over the next few days to check on Ty and make sure he was still doing good. What happened to Ty could have been any of the kids out there, and I think everyone realized that. Crestwood has always been a small community of people that have tight bonds with each other, and we all care for each other.”

Fannin went through additional tests in the days after and the standard concussion protocol.

He remained out of the lineup for three weeks and was able to return to the court on Feb. 9 in the team’s matchup with Wickliffe.

Fittingly, he took a charge in the first minute he was on the court in that game.

“Ty is just a warrior. He is a winner. He leaves it all out on the court every single game that he plays,” said Jakacki, who is Fannin’s uncle. “He puts his body at risk, to a fault, to help his team win. To say what happened to Ty was scary is an understatement. It shook me to the core, but I put my faith in the heavenly father above to take care of him and keep him safe and healthy.”

Just four days after Fannin’s return to the court, in a game at Field on Feb. 13, he attempted to take another charge and hit his head again, which led to a decision for him to sit out the remainder of the season.

“Ty is a small kid (5-foot-9), but taking charges has always been a part of his game, and he plays so hard that he has played with injuries and through small injuries since he was young. This is a different kind of injury, though,” Shane Fannin said. “Pound for pound, he has always been one of the toughest kids on the court.”

And a Red Devils legend.

A player who made a resounding four-year impact on the program without ever being the leading scorer or spotlight player.

Instead, Fannin’s role is far more important than that. He is a winning player.

1 Comment

  1. Roxann M Lincoln February 19, 2024

    We all just started praying when Ty went down. We were happy to hear the outcome. He has always been a beast on the floor no matter how big his opponent was he was there. So proud of you Ty. Forever paper of our basketball family.


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