‘Long road ahead’ for Wright State player hurt at party: What we know now

Wright State University freshman basketball player Ryan Custer remains hospitalized following an accident at an off-campus party in which he fractured a vertebrae.

Here are five things to know about the incident:

Makeshift pool: Custer, 19, and two teammates were at a party in Oxford on Saturday when, according to a police report, Custer attempted to dive through a party-goer’s legs into a makeshift pool. Witnesses believe he struck his head on the person’s knee.

A photo of the makeshift pool in Oxford where Ryan Custer was injured. CONTRIBUTED/OXFORD POLICE (Staff Writer)


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Motionless: Custer, a 6-foot-7-inch forward, lay motionless, face down in the water for 10 to 15 seconds before being removed from the pool constructed using straw bales and a blue tarp.

» RELATED: Police release photo, report on makeshift pool where player was hurt 

Large party: The Butler County Sheriff’s Office dispatched emergency crews about 3:55 p.m. to the student rental in the 300 block of Main Street in Oxford. Oxford Fire Chief John Detherage said authorities found “a very large party with several hundred people” at the rental and that “it was packed.”

» RELATED: WSU coach: ‘There’s a lot of hope, Ryan is a tough young man

Medical transport: Custer was conscious when emergency personnel arrived, but he was not moving. He told an officer, “I can’t feel anything.” Oxford Life Squad transported Custer to the Miami University Airport, where he was transferred to a medical helicopter to UC Medical Center.

» RELATED: Freshman Custer bringing a crowd to NKU

Surgery: Custer underwent surgery late Saturday after MRI and CT scans confirmed a fractured C5 vertebrae but no other injuries, according to a Facebook page set up by his family and updated over the weekend. 

“As of Sunday night, he has feelings to the touch from his shoulders down his arms to his fingers. He can also bend his arms at the elbows and shrug his shoulders. As of right now however, he has no feeling from his waist down,” according to a post made by the family.

Wright State Basketball player Ryan Custer. CONTRIBUTED (Staff Writer)

“Our hope is as the spinal cord swelling decreases, he will get more feeling in his extremities. The doctors hope in time he will continue to get feeling but there is a long road ahead of him.” 

A GoFundMe.com page, Ryan Custer 33 Recovery Fund, has been set up for the player who averaged 9.8 minutes in 32 games last season. He had a season-high nine points against the University of Illinois at Chicago Feb. 24.

» RELATED: Ryan Custer’s Recovery Care Page

Friends and former teachers will host a prayer service for Custer at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the fields and shelter area at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Parish and School, 808 Neeb Rd in Cincinnati, according to the family’s Facebook page.


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