June 17, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Rising redshirt junior Andrew Steele will not return to the court for the University of Alabama men’s basketball team due to lingering symptoms from a concussion, head coach Anthony Grant announced Friday.
“Andrew has decided that, in the best interest of his long term health and well-being, it is best to discontinue his basketball career at this time,” Grant said. “This decision was reached through consultation with his family and our medical staff and is a direct result of on-going symptoms resulting from multiple concussions, the most recent suffered on March 12, 2011, and the potential for long term consequences should he suffer another episode. We are saddened that he will no longer compete as a member of our team, however, we are extremely grateful for the contributions and dedication he has given our University and the character and selflessness with which he has represented our program. Andrew will remain on scholarship as a medical hardship and will continue to be a part of our team in a different capacity.”
Steele, a 6-4, 230-pound guard from Birmingham, Ala., suffered his fourth concussion in the final minutes of Alabama’s Southeastern Conference Tournament loss to Kentucky on March 12. He was sidelined with lingering effects of the concussion for the remainder of the season and the Crimson Tide’s National Invitation Tournament run. Following the season, he was held out of physical activities for two months. Upon returning to physical activity, he began to experience the return of symptoms resulting from concussion.
He will continue to be monitored and evaluated during his remaining time at Alabama while pursuing a degree in marketing.
“This was something I had to pray about a lot and talk to my parents and the medical staff about,” Steele said. “It was a realization that this was a situation where I had to make the best choice for my long-term health after basketball. It was a hard decision, but it was a choice between something (basketball) I had been doing whole life and something that could affect the rest of my life going forward. For me, it wasn’t worth taking the potential risk. Having the coaches and medical staff in my corner made this a lot easier knowing that they were looking out for me and my long-term health while giving me all the information I needed to make my decision. They have gone above and beyond in helping me and I couldn’t be more thankful.”