A scary moment occurred Sunday for Seattle Storm star forward Shekinna Stricklen, who was injured after hitting her head on the floor during the team's game against the Minnesota Lynx at the Target Center.
LoveWomensBasketball.com captured the scene as Stricklen was stretchered off the court:
Seattle Storm's Shekinna Stricklen carried of the court on a stretcher after hitting her head on the floor pic.twitter.com/6jkLGPB5ie— LoveWomensBasketball (@lovewomensbball) July 13, 2014
Marcus R. Fuller of the Pioneer Press provided further details:
Sad scene with Storm's Shekinna Stricklen getting taken out on a stretcher after hard fall on a charge. Lynx still up by six 3:26 left 2nd Q— Marcus R. Fuller (@GophersNow) July 13, 2014
Fuller later updated Stricklen's status:
Update on Seattle Storm's Shekinna Stricklen is that she suffered a neck strain and will not have to stay overnight in the hospital.— Marcus R. Fuller (@GophersNow) July 13, 2014
Stricklen was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 WNBA draft out of Tennessee and has shown considerable progress from the perimeter, which Jayda Evans of The Seattle Times recently observed:
Speaking of "improved," Storm Shekinna Stricklen really developing consistency w 3pt shot. Shooting 46.9%. Last yr 34.4%. Storm 25-19 #WNBA— Jayda Evans (@JaydaEvans) June 23, 2014
The Storm have struggled as it is this season, entering Sunday's contest with a 9-13 record. However, they were just coming off a win in which Stricklen led the way with 19 points. She hinted at how confident she felt afterwards.
"I felt good," Stricklen told reporters. "I was just focused and just having fun and not thinking so much and just playing the game."
Given that recent momentum Stricklen generated as an individual and the boost she provided her team in the process, this injury comes at an even steeper cost. More than anything, though, the chief concern is Stricklen's health moving forward. The fall she suffered in Minneapolis was a difficult scene to witness, and the hope is that she makes a swift and full recovery.
Should Stricklen be out for an extended period of time, it may be difficult for Seattle to stay afloat in a difficult Western Conference. While the East features just one winning squad in Atlanta at the top, the Storm face a tougher climb up the standings. That will be exacerbated by Stricklen's potential absence.