For 22 years Greg Gaa has been providing medical services for high school athletes during the IHSA Basketball State Final Tournament, a tradition he’s honored to be a part of.
“Truly a privilege, this is a very unique event, both for Peoria and the IHSA and you we want do it right. We want to make sure the athletes are being take care of that are from out of town, we want to make sure the resources are here,” Gaa said.
The medical staff includes everyone from surgeons to AMT workers. Along with pre and post game treatments, Gaa and his team are always close by the action, I n case a player gets hurt.
“We will talk with the athlete once they’re safe, get them off the floor. It’s a little bit easier back behind the scenes, you get the emotions settled down, you can actually sit them down and talk with the athletes, to get a better assessment. We want to get them back on the court as quickly as we can”
Carol Navarro is the Athletic Director and trainer at Newark High School, this is the schools third time at the state tournament in recent history, she says, she knows her students are in good hands when they come to Peoria.
“We know that if there’s something that I can’t give my players then I know that I have OSF right behind me, I know they can take care of anything that I can’t. Its just an awesome experience, that I really know I’m blessed that there are fellow professionals that can help me out,” Navarro said.