UNC's Roy Williams: 'I feel fine' after vertigo attack at BC

Feb 12, 2016 - 11:34 PM CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) North Carolina coach Roy Williams doesn't sound worried about the vertigo that sidelined him for part of Tuesday's win at Boston College.

The 65-year-old coach Friday was instead eager to reiterate he's OK and crack jokes while talking about a two-decade history with vertigo going back to his time at Kansas.

''I feel fine,'' he said. ''Unfortunately it was on national television.''

Williams left Tuesday's win with about 14 minutes left after collapsing momentarily in the huddle after a bout of what he called ''benign positional vertigo'' brought on by sudden head movements. Williams was helped to the locker room to take medication before returning to shake hands with Eagles coach Jim Christian and take part in UNC's postgame news conference then fly home with the team.

He spent a few hours in the office Wednesday on an off day, then returned for Thursday's practice ahead of the No. 9 Tar Heels' home game Sunday against Pittsburgh.

Speaking during a regularly scheduled news conference, Williams said it won't affect his thinking on how long he can coach at his alma mater.

''It's happened'' before, Williams said. ''But as I say, it's the first time it's ever happened in a basketball game, that public.''

Williams has had brief bouts of dizziness in games such as when he springs up from the bench too quickly. He said those fleeting ''blood rush'' moments don't compare to the vertigo, which can leave him throwing up, falling down or wobbly.

Williams said it first happened in 1995 on a golf course. He said he jumped in frustration after a good shot ended up in a bunker, and ended up on the ground.

In another golf-course incident, Williams turned his head quickly from sand blowing in his face after a bunker shot.

''The next thing I know,'' he said, ''I'm crawling out of the bunker.''

Williams described other bouts with a few chuckles, including one on the New Course at St. Andrews and another on an airplane in July 2005 when he got up to use the restroom and the plane hit a bumpy patch. In the airplane incident, Williams said, medical staff worried he was having a heart issue.

Dealing with vertigo has required a few adjustments.

''Now if I hit a shot out of the bunker and sand's flying back, I just take it. I won't turn,'' Williams said. ''A guy blew his horn up on Franklin Street one day and everybody jumped and I didn't jump at all. Most of the time, I've sort of trained myself to not react to something like that.''

Sophomore Theo Pinson described Tuesday's incident as ''scary at first'' but said Williams was back to needling Pinson by Thursday's practice.

''He was like, `The first time I start you in a while and I have a vertigo attack,''' Pinson said. ''I was like, `Well, my fault.' So I thought it was pretty funny. He was the same guy. It was nothing different.''


Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap and the AP's college basketball site at http://collegebasketball.ap.org

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