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“Long road to recovery” for basketball player Reggie Cottrell from Harlan County, Kentucky, after allegedly faulty ignition of fireworks

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (FOX 56) – A player for the Harlan County Black Bears basketball team is in the hospital after a suspected faulty firework exploded Thursday.

Harlan County basketball star Reggie Cottrell was flown to a Lexington hospital where he underwent surgery Thursday night, according to his sister Lexie.


Lexie Cottrell posted on Facebook around 5 a.m. Friday that Reggie “tried to light the fireworks but the wick didn't even work, the fireworks just exploded.”

According to Lexie, several of Reggie Cottrell's fingers have undergone surgery, but Reggie's condition is stable and he remains positive.

“The road to recovery will be long, so pray for him. I asked him if he was still playing and he replied, 'I'm Reggie Cottrell,'” Lexie said in a Facebook post on Friday.

Harlan County Public Schools released a statement from Reggie on Facebook around 3 p.m. Friday, saying he was overwhelmed by the support of his teammates and the community and would be “returning home to Harlan County very soon.”

Lexie posted on Facebook that the family would not be giving interviews while Reggie recovers from his surgery, “to give myself and the family a chance to process everything.”