Traveon Maddox Jr. Chose Basketball over Football Due to CTE, Injury Fears

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 25, 2018

Source: 247Sports

Star athlete Traveon Maddox Jr. acknowledged concerns over his long-term health played a role in his decision to choose basketball over football in college.

Per Chris Nielsen of the Detroit Free Press, Maddox noted a shoulder injury he suffered in high school while playing football caused him to examine his future in sports. 

"I want to be able to walk when I'm 40 years old," Maddox said. "Before my shoulder injury (in high school), I never really thought about it, but after the injury, all those things came into play. In college football, you're putting body parts at risk."

Maddox also noted the impact a class he took in high school had on his decision to switch exclusively to basketball:

"My senior year at Novi, in a sports officiating class, we were watching a video of (former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster). He had a bunch of concussions but never said anything because people considered him a hard-nosed player that didn't care. He ended up dying a few years later (in 2002) when he was 50. ... Hearing something like that makes me think, 'Yeah, I'm going to play basketball.'"

Maddox is an athlete who played cornerback, safety and wide receiver at Novi High School, per 247Sports. He's listed at 6'4" and 180 pounds with scholarship offers from programs like Syracuse and Ball State. 

Instead of sticking with football, though, Maddox committed to Oakland University's basketball team in August 2017. 

"This is my present to myself," Maddox said at the time of his decision. "When I met Coach Kampe and his staff I just fell in love and I had to make the decision that I had to choose basketball over football. I also thought about the injuries going on right now. I decided I might as well stick to my hoops. My first love is basketball. I've always been a basketball kid. With football, it came naturally."

Maddox's decision came nearly two months after medical journal JAMA published a study that discovered CTE in 110 out of 111 former NFL players whose brains were donated to be examined. 

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