Concussions are not an injury that people think of when it comes to basketball. Football and Hockey, though? Absolutely. Still, the NBA has protocol that many teams struggle to follow. Not every impact suffered by a player looks like it will produce a concussion. That’s why the world-champion Golden State Warriors have brought a new piece of technology to their sideline in the form of SyncThink’s Eye-Sync.
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) November 17, 2017
Let’s take it back to a game last week that the Warriors played against the Chicago Bulls. Early in the first quarter, Steph Curry drove the lane while being defended by Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen. Markkanen made a remarkable play by blocking Curry’s shot right back into his head:
Chicago Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen swats Steph Curry's shot right back into his face! pic.twitter.com/0dmt96Tv3w
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 18, 2018
On the surface, maybe it’s a harmless play. Though the more you watch, the more you wonder whether or not it was an instance where Curry could’ve sustained a concussion with the way he was hit, and the way his body hit the floor.
The perfect opportunity for the Warriors to use Eye-Sync. The tech, developed by Dr. Jamshid Ghajar MD, Ph.D. of Stanford University, is a headset that can diagnose concussion-like symptoms in roughly 60 seconds. The headset tests ocular-motor synchronization deficits by having the athletes’ eyes follow a rotating red dot.
In the case of Curry, he could have went to the bench, put on the headset, and known whether his brain was properly functioning in less than two-minutes time. “There’s a league concussion protocol,” said Warriors assistant general manager Kirk Lacob to the San Francisco Chronicle. “but we want to make sure to go above and beyond for the health and safety of players.”
SyncThink’s Eye-Sync is already used by all sports at Stanford University, but the Warriors are the first NBA team to adopt it. It definitely wouldn’t hurt if other teams followed suit.