If you follow basketball, the name Grant Hill should be associated with longevity and productivity. Grant Hill played 19 seasons in the NBA between the Detroit Pistons, the Orlando Magic, the Phoenix Suns, and the Los Angeles Clippers. During his career, he was viewed as one of the best all-around players in the game, even during an era where Michael Jordan was considered to be at his prime. As injuries and surgeries began to slow Hill’s career, he contracted MRSA in 2003 following a procedure on his ankle.
When Grant was first informed that he had contracted MRSA, he claims he had never even heard of the disease. Fears that he would not make it through the fight against the infection and that the recovery would prevent him from returning to the game he loved were constantly running through Hill’s mind as doctors diagnosed and treated the MRSA. Luckily for Grant, the infection was caught in its early stages and was able to be treated effectively, but the scars on his ankle from the procedures to combat the infection will constantly remain as a reminder to how lucky he was to beat MRSA.
Hill’s message to fellow basketball players and athletes from all sports is to not ignore the risk of MRSA just because you can’t physically see it. Taking certain precautions during workouts, like laying a towel down on a workout bench, or covering cuts and scrapes, are easy ways that players can prevent an infection from entering their body. Coaches and trainers for high school, college, and professional programs also share a responsibility in the prevention of MRSA throughout an organization. Practicing proper cleaning techniques, like washing uniforms and towels with a bleach solution, will ensure that any bodily fluids that may have contacted the materials will be killed. Cleaning and disinfecting training equipment with an EPA approved disinfectant and deodorizing spray like Clear Gear Sports Spray is the only way to ensure that harmful bacteria like MRSA, staph, influenza, and herpes, are killed from surfaces that may come in contact with open wounds, scrapes, or abrasions on a player.