Life is getting back to normal for the Lyle and Bates-Diop families. After both endured hospitalizations and near-death experiences during the last two weeks, Jala Lyle – the sister of Ohio State guard JaQuan – and Kei Bates-Diop – the brother of Ohio State forward Keita – are out of the hospital and home with their families, coach Thad Matta said today.
It’s a blessedly happy ending to what was a challenging three-day stretch for the two families. On Feb. 7, Jala Lyle gave birth but slipped into a coma. Her mother kept the news from her brother because the Buckeyes were hosting Rutgers the following evening, and she wanted him to be present mentally and physically to face the Scarlet Knights. Lyle learned the news shortly after the game and was sent home to Evansville, Indiana, the following morning.
While he was gone, the 16-year-old Kai collapsed at basketball practice Feb. 9 and had to be revived on the court. He was transported to Peoria, Illinois, where he was stabilized while awaiting surgery. Matta said Bates-Diop had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator surgically implanted Feb. 15 and, while his basketball career is over, is expected to make a full recovery.
Both JaQuan Lyle and Keita Bates-Diop missed Ohio State’s game at Maryland on Feb. 11, although Bates-Diop is out for the season after undergoing surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left shin. Both were back with the team Monday, and Lyle played 28 minutes in Tuesday night’s loss at Michigan State.
Thus caps an emotional and difficult time for the Buckeyes.
“I think everything is back on the mend and heading in the right direction,” Matta said today.
Against the Spartans, Lyle scored all 10 of his points before halftime and looked to run out of gas in the second half. The sophomore suffered an ankle injury Feb. 2, two days before a game at Michigan, and is still working his way back.
“We’ve got to get him in shape,” Matta said. “He’s not in good enough shape right now. From really a two-week stretch from the ankle, he’s been limited. We’ve got to get him back. He practiced yesterday and practiced well, but we’ve got to find a way to continue to build his conditioning to get him back to the level where he was.”
Sophomore C.J. Jackson has filled in for Lyle but said his responsibilities haven’t changed much.
“I still have the same role,” Jackson said. “I get the open guys the ball, I play defense and still be a great communicator for my team. I wouldn’t say anything has changed as far as just obviously the minutes played.”