The Evansville Purple Aces play their season finale Thursday night. The championship of the College Insider Tournament.
Just one more game.
But it’s one game their radio announcer nearly missed.
Voice of the Aces, and our own Home Team Friday host, Lance Wilkerson, has been calling the Aces since 2010, and traveled with the team across the mid-west.
But tonight’s trip – here in Evansville – may have been his toughest yet.
Athletes play injured all the time. Cuts, scratches, and bruises don’t slow these players.
“These guys play banged up all the time,” says Wilkerson. But a radio announcer? The final name on the injury report.
Wednesday afternoon, Wilkerson flipped – by his count – five times after his SUV was rear-ended by another vehicle in Warrick County.
“Just kept flipping and flipping and I just think – please stop, please stop,” he says, recalling the moment of impact. “Upside down, and I un-buckled, and fell…”
And then? He doesn’t remember much.
He says the driver who hit him was going 60 miles per hour.
Evansville Athletic Director, Mark Spencer says, he encouraged Wilkerson to stay in this hospital. “We found out it was kind of a miracle for us that it wasn’t terribly serious.”
Lance was in and out of the hospital in 24 hours, and back on the sidelines calling the Aces.
“He just kept saying over and over, there is no way after all these years being an Aces fan that I’m gonna miss calling this game tonight,” says Spencer.
Wilkerson says he’s sore, but was glad to be back at work. “I’m just sitting there talking into a microphone.”
He may be a little black and blue, but purple runs in his veins.
“You feel like you have a new lease on life, that’s for sure. I’m just glad to be alive.”
What may ease his pain? The Aces won the CIT title, 71-65.