Concussions End Mike Aaman’s URI Playing Career
Saturday, March 01, 2014
Sophomore men's basketball player Mike Aaman's playing career at URI is over.
Speaking to reporters before Saturday's game vs. Richmond at the Ryan Center, Aaman said he has suffered 7 concussions in his life (5 of which were basketball related), including his most recent injury that has forced him to leave the school for the semester due to an inability to focus in class.
"I'm just taking this semester off to get my head right," said Aaman.
Aaman said his teammates brought him food when he was confined to a dark dorm room for "2, 3 weeks straight." Known more as a "glue guy" than a star player, Aaman is the type of player teammates rally around. Aaman himself said that when the team found out he couldn't play anymore, they were just as devastated as he was.
Aaman was assaulted at an off campus house in December. He had sustained 2 concussions in high school prior to his URI career, and the December incident was his 5th concussion in 2 years at URI. 5 of his 7 concussions have been basketball related, but Aaman spoke about learning the value of good decision making the hard way.
"I just made some stupid decisions," he said of his 2 non-basketball related concussions. "Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way, but I've learned now."
If Aaman wishes to pursue a transfer to a school that will clear him to play, URI will cooperate and grant his request. A somber Aaman said Saturday that he wants to remain involved with the sport after his playing career and has thought about pursuing a career in coaching or scouting. He intends on sticking around and picking the brains of the coaches and transitioning to viewing the game through that lense.
"It feels good to have a team that cares about me, so it really made me feel like I should stay here," Aaman said.
The 6'8" Aaman averaged 4.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game as a freshman in 2012-13. He played in 5 games this season, averaging 3 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.
Aaman's scholarship will be honored by URI should he elect to stay and finish his degree. His scholarship will not count towards the 13 available to the basketball program.