Duke basketball player injured after Wake Forest fans storm court following upset victory

CNNDuke men’s basketball star Kyle Filipowski was injured after Wake Forest fans stormed the court in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on Saturday, marking the second athlete-versus-fan collision on a college court in just over a month.

Fans rushed the court after the buzzer sounded to celebrate the Demon Deacons’ 83-79 upset victory over the No. 8-ranked Blue Devils when the sophomore center appeared to collide with a fan as he walked to the locker room and had to be helped off the court afterward.

After the game, Duke head coach Jon Scheyer said Filipowski “sprained his ankle” and called for a ban on court-storming.

“When are we going to ban court storming?” said Scheyer, who is in his second year leading the Blue Devils after taking over for Basketball Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski.

The coach said he was disappointed his team lost but he was more concerned about the players’ well-being.

“How many times does a player have to get into something where they get punched, or they get pushed, or they (get) taunted right in their face? It’s a dangerous thing,” he added.

Scheyer said the incident shouldn’t take away from how Wake Forest played and mentioned recent court-storming incidents as a reason for a proposed ban.

“You look around the country, Caitlin Clark, something happens,” Scheyer said. “And now Flip, I don’t know what his status is going to be.”

Clark, a senior and guard for the University of Iowa who recently became the all-time leading scorer in NCAA women’s basketball, collided on the court with a fan in Columbus, Ohio, on January 21 after the team lost to Ohio State.

A video on ESPN showed Clark running across the court as a fan appearing to hold a cell phone in the air races across the court at the same time as they knocked into each other.

“When I played, at least it was 10 seconds and you storm(ed) the court,” Scheyer said. “Now, the buzzer doesn’t even go off and they’re running on the floor. This has happened to us a bunch this year. … I don’t want this to take away at all from Wake (Forest). They earned it, they deserve the win.”


Wake Forest head coach Steve Forbes agreed with the calls to ban the dangerous practice of court storming.

“I didn’t see what happened in the end. I hope he’s OK,” Forbes told reporters after the game. “I don’t like court stormings. I never have. I’ve been a part of those before as a coach. It just (doesn’t) feel safe.”

Wake Forest’s Director of Athletics John Currie also condemned the incident.

“I am in complete agreement that something more must be done about the national phenomenon of court and field storming and Wake Forest looks forward to being a part of those conversations,” he said in a statement.

Filipowski, who finished the game with a team-high 17 points, told WFMY News after the game he felt the incident was “personal.”

“I felt a bunch of hits on my body. This one was the worst of them,” Filipowski said.

“I absolutely felt like it was personal. Intentional for sure,” he added. “There’s no reason where they see a big guy like me trying to work my way off the court and they can’t just work around me, you know? There’s no excuse for that.”

In a statement Saturday, the Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Jim Phillips said the “safety of our student-athletes is always our top priority.”

He added: “Across college athletics, we have seen far too many of these incidents that put individuals at serious risk, and it will require the cooperation of all – including spectators – to ensure everyone’s well-being.”

CNN has reached out to Duke for comment.

The Blue Devils fell to 21-6 on the season while the Demon Deacons improved to 18-9.

Duke is next scheduled to play on Wednesday at home against Louisville.

CNN’s Homero De la Fuente, Kevin Dotson, Issy Ronald and Ashley R. Williams contributed to the report.