American basketball player OK after eye pops out of socket

FILE - This is a Wednesday, July 6, 2016 file photo of New York Knicks' Akil Mitchell, left, as he looks to pass the ball around Orlando Magic White's Treveon Graham during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game in Orlando, Fla. American basketball player Akil Mitchell's eye popped out of its socket after he was poked in the face while going for a rebound during a game in New Zealand Thursday Jan. 26, 2017 .(AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — An American basketball player’s eye popped out of its socket after he was poked in the face while going for a rebound during a game in New Zealand.

Akil Mitchell, a 24-year-old former University of Virginia forward, was playing for the New Zealand Breakers in a game against Cairns on Thursday when the accident happened.

The game was stopped for 15 minutes while Mitchell was treated by medical officials, with his teammates left visibly upset by the incident. Cairns won the National Basketball League game 94-81.

On Friday, Mitchell said he had no vision impairment, but won’t be watching any videos of the incident.

“(Teammate) Paul (Carter) really wanted me to see it and I was like, ‘I can’t do it,'” Mitchell told the New Zealand Herald on Friday. “It kind of makes my eye throb a little just thinking about it, so I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to watch it.”

Mitchell told the Herald he could still see from the eye after it had popped out of his socket, saying the sensation was akin to “a chameleon, how they can see different directions.”