Vancouver police are investigating an alleged hit-and-run that left a professional basketball player with a broken leg, shattered in three places.
“It will take four to six months before I start walking,” said Clay Crellin from his Vancouver hospital bed.
He says he was walking home with his friends on Thursday, June 19 around 1 a.m., when a car came around the corner near 10th Avenue and Collingwood Street on Vancouver’s west side and nearly hit him.
“I slapped the top of the trunk. Last thing I remember the guy got out of his car yelling at me,” said Crellin.
The next thing he remembered was waking up in pain, “I woke up and my leg was looking one way and I was looking at it the other way.”
Vancouver police say witnesses reported an altercation between the driver and the pedestrians prior to the collision. According to Crellin, the driver went back into the car after the altercation and then ran him over.
Crellin says he is no stranger to adversity, and that he’s faced tough times before, and will fight his way back.
He says the game of basketball has always helped him get through dark periods in his life.
In 2007, Crellin was on the verge of being homeless as he drifted from one foster home to another. He started playing basketball, and believes that helped turn his life around. Soon after, he was taken in by Connie Linder, who eventually became his foster parent.
“I think we really became a foundation for him. He just blossomed into this more confident, young man,” said Linder.
The young basketball player had plans to go to Australia or Europe this fall to play professional basketball, but that journey will have to be put on hold until he makes a full recovery. Crellin is focused on doing just that. His spirit is still strong despite having everything he’s worked for on the basketball courts up in the air.
“Nothing is unattainable if you have a dream. All you got to do is make the right plan and you can make anything you want happen in this life,” said Crellin.
“Your dreams can come true.”
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