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Vermont's Josh Speidel Scores 1st Career Points Since Traumatic Brain Injury

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2020

Dave Speidel, left, watches as he son Josh Speidel, right, is introduced with the Vermont players before an NCAA college basketball game against Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind., Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015. Speidel is recovering from a Feb. 1 auto accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury.  (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Former 3-star recruit Josh Speidel scored his first career points for Vermont on Tuesday, making his first start since suffering a traumatic brain injury five years ago.

In a Senior Day matchup with Albany, Speidel got the start and converted the team's first shot of the game in a prearranged moment:

ESPN @espn

Vermont's Josh Speidel was a highly touted prospect before a car accident derailed his college career. Tonight, on Senior Night, he scored his first basket on the first possession of the game 🙏 https://t.co/ZyOBXj7dw5

Vermont went on to beat Albany 85-62.

Per ESPN's Myron Medcalf, Speidel was a standout at Columbus North High School in Indiana, averaging over 28 points per game during his senior season. But on Super Bowl Sunday in 2015, the Vermont commit suffered traumatic brain damage in a car crash that left him in a coma for five weeks.

Doctors told his parents their son might live the rest of his days in a vegetative state, need 24-hour care and never read above a fourth-grade level:

NCAA @NCAA

It's been nearly five years since Josh Speidel was involved in a traumatic car accident that would change his life. Tonight he made his first start for @UVMmbb and scored the opening points for his team: https://t.co/dEu0lDCxEp https://t.co/rJCctp6QXU

According to Medcalf, he will graduate with a 3.4 GPA this year.

After the game, the senior joked he considered missing his shot so he could grab a rebound:

UVM Athletics @UVMathletics

POSTGAME: @JSpeidel24 talks to @MichaelELehr about his special night & what seeing his name on the boxscore meant to him. #ThisIsVermont https://t.co/2s2mOt8Sy8

It was an emotional night, according to UVM:

UVM @uvmvermont

Should've put tissues under every seat in Patrick. #UVMProud https://t.co/VVm7bu8lFr

Vermont will start the America East Tournament as the top seed and face Maine in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

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