Editor's Note: The Press Gazette expects to update this story as more information on this incident and sources become available, following the holidays.
MILTON — Milton High School basketball player Madison Parker is still feeling the effects of two head injuries she received during a Dec. 5 game against Gulf Breeze High.
Parker’s mother, Stephanie, records Madison’s games for college coaches and scouts. The same was true on Dec. 5. Following that game, Stephanie shared three video clips on Facebook: one showing Madison tripping over another player and hitting her face on the court; the other two allegedly showing a Gulf Breeze player throwing Madison down to the court.
The Facebook post containing the clips has gone viral, with 390 shares as of this writing.
Madison, Stephanie said, was going up for a rebound when she tripped over a Gulf Breeze player’s feet and hit her head on the court.
"I was screaming (that) her head smashed against the court," Stephanie said. "She was holding her face and crying … It was not a deliberate action."
Play continued without anyone checking on Madison, according to Stephanie.
In the second incident, at approximately a minute into the fourth quarter, Madison was blocking a Gulf Breeze player from getting the ball. The player allegedly threw Madison aside; she again fell, hitting her head on the court.
According to Stephanie, the Milton coach took Madison out of the game after playing her up and down the court a few times.
The day after the game, Madison saw the Milton trainer who evaluated her and gave her a concussion test, Stephanie said. Madison failed the test and needed evaluation by a concussion specialist. The Parkers had to wait until Dec. 8 to see the specialist.
"Andrews Institute diagnosed Madison with a concussion," Stephanie said.
During the first week after the game, Madison was feeling head and neck pain and had vision problems. During the second week, Madison had developed nausea with continued headaches, according to Stephanie.
The Andrews specialist had Madison wear a neck brace, which she’s worn since, Stephanie said. Madison on Dec. 22 saw the concussion specialist, who still hadn’t cleared her for play but did reduce Madison’s time in the neck brace from 24 hours a day to only when she has neck pain, according to Stephanie.
Stephanie Parker said she met with Milton High School Principal Tim Short since the game. The school has not responded to the Press Gazette for comment on the game and injuries, but Stephanie said Short is looking into the situation.
Through it all, Madison remains positive.
"If possible, I’d like to keep playing," she said. "I’m very passionate about basketball and I’d like to continue if my health allows me to."
Despite Madison’s competitive nature, she said she hoped someone would have pulled her out of the game sooner but couldn’t think straight at the time and continued to play.
The Florida High School Athletic Association's "Return to Play Criteria" sets the terms for injured players.
"After a suspected head injury or concussion, a youth athlete by state law should be restricted from further participation until evaluated by a licensed physician," an FHSAA video states on its YouTube page.
"I’m suffering the consequences of something that’s not my fault, but I’m staying optimistic," Madison said.
"God is using it to glorify Him."