Community rallies around Christian Martin, Southwest Guilford basketball player hurt in fall

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HIGH POINT, N.C. — It’s a play that has people talking and praying. A Southwest Guilford High School basketball player went up for the dunk, but hit the rim, losing his momentum and came crashing down on the court, head first.

It happened during a playoff game over the weekend in Hickory.

“He kind of hit shoulder and head first. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” said Head Coach Guy Shavers.

It was a scene that shocked everyone in the gym. Shavers says it seemed like Christian Martin fell in slow motion. The stadium was silent.

“You could just hear a pin drop. It was very breathtaking to watch not only our own fans crying and praying, but to watch such a classy school like Cox Mill,” said Mike Hettenbach, the Southwest Guilford principal.

Christian was rushed to a Hickory hospital, where he is now resting, recovering and getting ready for rehab.

“It’s never easy,” said Hettenbach. “You see one of your players go down and you don’t know the outcome and you’re just trying to support the family.”

Shavers, Hettenbach and the players are doing their best to show their strength, as the community shows its support for Christian’s family.

“They’ve been overwhelmed in a positive manner with the outpouring love and support,” says Hettenbach. “The greatest thing about Southwest is we’ve been through adversity too many times, unfortunately. But this community has got to be one of the most caring communities.

Shavers agrees, and says players are absolutely resilient.

“I joked right afterwards that it was like ‘Remember the Titans,’ and that I got 11 brothers and sisters and you guys got to be tough,” he said.

With the state championship just days away, the team is focused on a win for Number Five.

“Christian is Number Five so everybody across the area, if you just hold your “five” up, we’ll know what you’re talking about,” Shavers says. “[Christian] is getting there. It’s just taking a while.

The hope is that Christian will start rehab by the end of the week.

People can track his progress on the school’s social media pages.

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