Felix returns to Longhorn basketball after third concussion in 12 months

Peter Sblendorio

Junior guard Javan Felix’s concussion, which he suffered on Jan. 31 against Baylor, was serious enough to keep him out of two games.

But now, the injury appears to be even more significant than people originally realized, as Felix revealed Wednesday that the concussion was his third of the last calendar year. He said his first concussion happened on Feb. 1 of last year in a home win over Kansas, and his second came this season at some point in October.

After 10 days of rest and monitoring, he returned Wednesday night to lead Texas with 16 points and four made 3-pointers in its win over TCU. 

“I healed up well, thank God,” Felix said.

Felix said he had no prior history of concussions before suffering his first 12 months ago, but, after sustaining three in such a short period of time, he said he is worried.

“Of course,” Felix said. “It’s my brain. The only way to stop this is to not play, and I love basketball. It’s what I’ve been doing my whole life. I healed up, and I felt like I was ready to go, so I’m going to play as long as I can.”

However, if he suffers one more, he said he would deeply consider ending his career.

“I am worried about it,” Felix said. “Probably if I get hit hard, if it’s a real bad one, I won’t be able to play again.”

Felix, who missed one game last season after his first concussion, said he must do a better job of listening to his teammates and being aware of what’s happening around him.

Felix has been Texas’ best perimeter shooter and most reliable scorer off the bench. The junior is averaging 10.5 points and 26.1 minutes per game in 21 games for Texas this season. He leads the Longhorns with 40 made 3-pointers, and he is posting career bests in field goal percentage (.433) and 3-point percentage (.396).

Of course, the team is far more worried about his long-term health then it is in his ability to continue suiting up for games this season.

“We are concerned about Javan, especially with the game the way it is,” head coach Rick Barnes said. “Concussions are always something you
worry about.”

Felix said he felt fine following his first game back Wednesday. He is expected to play once again Saturday when the Longhorns host Texas Tech.

Texas (16–8, 5–6 Big 12) is striving for another win against the bottom-feeding Red Raiders (12–13, 2–10 Big 12), as its schedule gets much harder after Saturday. The Longhorns are slated to play five consecutive games against ranked opponents — three of which are on the road — before closing out the season at home against unranked Kansas State on March 7.

The Longhorns topped Texas Tech, 70–61, in Lubbock on Jan. 3 in their first matchup this season.