Myles Powell, a former first-team All-American at Seton Hall, has filed a lawsuit against his alma mater. He claims that head coach Kevin Willard and the school’s medical staff hid an injury from him, so that he would play through it.
Powell, a former superstar guard for the Pirates, suffered an ankle injury during the 2019-20 season. He claims that he also suffered a meniscus injury in his knee, which he was not told about by the school’s staff. Powell, who went undrafted in 2020, says that playing on the injured knee has hurt his professional basketball opportunities.
The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in Essex County Court in New Jersey. Willard and Seton Hall director of sports medicine Tony Testa are listed as defendants, along with the university, according to the Courthouse News Service.
Powell says that he suffered what he believed was an ankle injury during an early-season game against Stony Brook. He was told that the injury was minor, even as he started to feel pain in his right knee. He claims that Testa told him it was a bone bruise, and administered “pain killer medicine” to help him play through it.
Myles Powell claims his torn meniscus was misdiagnosed during the 2019-20 season https://t.co/J1R2QQMJm3
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 15, 2021
After the season, which was cut short due to COVID-19, Myles Powell says that he discovered that the staff was aware that he had torn his right meniscus, and lied to him about the extent of the injury. It should have required surgery, which likely would have ended his season, Powell alleges.
“[The university] did this knowing that continuing to play in the injured condition without immediate surgical repair would exacerbate the injury and seriously damage [his] professional opportunities,” the complaint states.
Powell claims the injury woes were to blame for his snub during the 2020 NBA Draft, as “professionals connected to the various teams in the NBA had suspected or discovered that Powell had a serious injury to his right knee that had gone untreated.”
Powell played well despite the injury, winning the Jerry West Award and being named Big East Player of the Year, along with All-American honors. He averaged 21 points per game, though it was down from his 23.1 average a year earlier. His shooting percentages were all down from his impressive 2018-19 season as well.
After going undrafted, Powell signed with the Westchester Knicks of the G-League, after a stint with the New York Knicks in the preseason. He was released in April.