NEWARK, N.J. (CN) — One of the Big East’s most notable players over the last few seasons has taken his alma mater to court over claims that “key personnel” let him play though a serious injury that significantly worsened his condition.
Myles Powell, a Trenton native who played at Seton Hall University from 2016-2020, filed suit on Wednesday against the university in Essex County Court. Named as additional defendants in the case are men's basketball Head Coach Kevin Willard and Tony Testa, who serves as the university’s director of sports medicine.
Powell was a standout at Seton Hall during his four seasons, amassing over 2,000 points during his career. He averaged 21 points per game during his final run before the Covid-19 pandemic ended his senior college hoops season, being named Big East Player of the Year and winning the Jerry West Award.
During the teams’ second game of the season against Stony Brook, the lawsuit says Powell suffered what he thought to be an ankle injury. Powell claims that both coaches and the team doctor advised him the damage was confined to the ankle and that “continued play would not exacerbate the injury."
Despite the diagnosis, Powell claims he continued to feel pain in his right knee throughout the season to the point where his practice time was severely limited. Powell alleges that when he asked Testa about the pain, he "would advise it was just a bone bruise” and "would inject pain killer medicine into [his] knee to allow him to play and perform.”
After the pandemic-shorted season ended, Powell allegedly discovered that coaches and team doctors knew he had suffered not just an ankle injury but a lateral meniscus tear to his right knee that should have necessitated him sitting out of the rest of the season.
"[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 seeks damages for two counts of negligence in his filing, which also claims breach of contract and fiduciary duty. He is represented by Alan Milstein with Sherman, Silverstein, Kohl, Rose & Podolsky of Moorestown, N.J.
A spokesperson for Seton Hall could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.
Despite being overlooked during last year’s draft, Powell was signed by the New York Knicks and appeared in pre-season action last season. He last played for the Westchester Knicks of the NBA's G League before the team released him in April.
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