Professional athletes can perform amazing feats. Not too long ago, NBA star Blake Griffon slam-dunked a basketball as he leapt over a car. While these acts are impressive, doctors know, as well as anyone, that young people will try to emulate them, at least to some extent. Lacking both the judgment and skill of professional players, this can very well lead to spinal injuries. A life that has just started out could easily be made much harder in one moment of playfulness.
Such attempts are easy to find on YouTube. The website has a great many videos of kids suffering horrific-looking accidents while riding skateboards, sledding, or attempting parkour tricks seen in movies. This is true, of course, for basketball as well. It is easy to find numerous incidents of people attempting to increase their jump heights by springing from the back of a teammate. Usually, the result is fairly humorous. A pair of people fall to the ground, the ball doesn’t get anywhere near the hoop, and everyone laughs. Many of these videos show a lot worse and they often show the failed attempt without every showing what happened afterward.
YouTube has a number of videos where the person attempting to make the basketball shot from the back of a friend not only misses, but misses catastrophically. Instead of just falling to the ground, the basketball player misses the hoop entirely and falls to the ground, often right on his head. A direct impact such as that, with the full weight of the body falling from a height suddenly on the neck, can easily lead to spinal injury, as doctors know all too well. It is never easy to determine the effects such an impact might have. It is possible no damage will be done, but it is just as possible the blow could lead to paralysis. It could also lead to any number of problems in between, such as a weakened spinal cord or back and neck pain that could last for a lifetime. doctors in Nassau and Suffolk Counties are aware of this and warn their patients against reckless and unsupervised stunts.