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Father of fatally injured football player has warning for others

BURIEN, Wash. -- The father of a high school football player who suffered a fatal head injury during last Friday's game has a warning for other young players.

Ngon Bui's son, 17-year-old Kenney Bui, was injured during the fourth quarter of Friday's football game between Evergreen High School and Highline High School. Kenney went to the hospital Friday night and died on Monday.

Ngon Bui is shocked and heartbroken about the loss of his son.

"My heart right now look like a needle stick in your heart, look like a knife stick in your heart. That's how I feel," he said.

He's now he's warning other young football players about the dangers of the sport.

"I want all American kids to be careful," he said. "They can play, but you have to be careful with your life because you only have one life."

Highline School District Athletic Director Terri McMahon is defending the procedures her staff took to care for Kenney Bui on the sidelines.

"I found no fault at all with any kind of procedure or protocol on our part," McMahon said.

McMahon said all district coaches and trainers take USA Football's "heads up" training, which is designed to teach proper football skills and head injury protocols.

"We are actually seeing the rate of injury going down in general," said Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, co-director of the UW Sports Concussion Program. "That's why it certainly ads to the tragic nature of this injury."

Two prominent doctors who work with the NFL believe a culture shift in youth sports that puts safety first is working.

"Based on good solid policy and not on the latest current event, that's not a good way to help keep sports safe," said Dr. Stanley Herring.

McMahon said having players be honest about their injuries is key.

"We still have to rely on young players to let us know how they are doing, and that's the gap we have to bridge if we are going to make football safer for kids," McMahon said.

Ngon Bui said his son just recently requested that his organs be donated if anything ever happened to him.

"(He said) 'If something happens to me, can you do me a favor? Can you give my organs to somebody who needs it?' So I have to do the thing he want me to do," Bui said.

Evergreen's Friday game with Lindberg High School in Renton has been cancelled. The medical examiner may conduct an autopsy Wednesday to determine the exact cause of Kenney's death.


Staff writter

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