UConn's return flight from East Carolina diverted for Jackson's illness

The UConn basketball team had an eventful and frightening flight home from its game at East Carolina on Wednesday night in Greenville, N.C.

Its chartered plane dealt with extreme turbulence and then was forced to divert to Baltimore for precautionary medical reasons involving freshman forward Vance Jackson, according to a UConn spokesman.

Jackson underwent tests at the hospital and was eventually cleared to return to Connecticut Thursday. He was back on campus and resting comfortably.

It is the latest in a series of illnesses and injuries for the snake-bitten Huskies this season.

In the 66-62 loss at East Carolina, the Huskies were without freshman Christian Vital, who suffered a concussion in practice on Monday. Sophomore Jalen Adams was in the starting lineup, but his status was a game-time decision after spraining his left ankle against SMU on Saturday. Senior Rodney Purvis dislocated his finger prior to the game on Wednesday but still played.

The hard luck list this season also has included: Adams (concussion), Steve Enoch (right foot), Juwan  Durham (flu, twice), Mamadou Diarra (knee), Terry Larrier (knee) and Alterique Gilbert (shoulder). The last three players had season-ending injuries.

Senior Amida Brimah is the only scholarship player to start every game.

No wonder the Huskies (14-15, 9-8), losers of three straight, are still fighting to secure one of five first-round byes in next week's American Athletic Conference tournament in Hartford. They close out the regular season on Sunday with a Senior Day game against No. 18 Cincinnati at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs.

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