Former Oakland University basketball center Sebastien Bellin was injured by the terrorist bombing at the Brussels airport this morning.
Someone saw a photo of Bellin, the center on Oakland’s 2000 Mid-Continent Conference title team, in the media and alerted OU coach Greg Kampe and assistant Saddi Washington. Kampe and his director of operations then called Bellin’s company in Belgium to find out his status and were told that he was at the airport counter, checking in for a flight, about 100 yards from one of the blasts.
A graphic photo of Bellin, showing his bleeding leg, has made the rounds in the media today. (Warning: The image is at the bottom of this story.)
Kampe’s understanding was that Bellin had leg surgery and was scheduled to have another.
“I was pretty devastated over all of this,” Kampe said, but he was willing to discuss it because he wants the most accurate information out there that he knows.
The second surgery is apparently to remove shrapnel from his hip. There are still shrapnel in his leg and hip after being thrown 20 meters after the blast, according to a tweet by BC Oostende, a Belgian professional team.
“They don’t know the extent of the damage,” Kampe said. “He’s under sedation so nobody’s really talked to him. All they know is he’s in a ton of pain.”
His injuries aren’t considered life-threatening, Kampe said, but they’re unsure when they will get future updates.
My ex player Seb Bellin was injured in the Brussels bombing. Going for second surgery. Please pray for Seb.
— Greg Kampe (@KampeOU) March 22, 2016
Bellin, who was born in Brazil, played two seasons at Marist in 1996-98 before transferring to Oakland. He started 29 of 30 games at OU in 1999-2000, averaging 8.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for a team that finished 13-17.
Bellin, who is 37 and 6-feet-9 according to multiple reports, was scheduled later this week to talk to OU’s Max Hooper about opportunities to play in Europe. In Belgium, Bellin sells automated video software for basketball teams to record practices. He also is in touch with European basketball clubs, where he played for a dozen years after leaving Oakland.
“Seb has been very loyal, even when he was playing in Europe, he’d come back every summer, he’d work out with the team, he’d come to my camps, I was on the phone with him all the time,” Kampe said. “During the year he would text me, tweet me, call me and he’s just a kid that stayed really, really loyal to the program. He’s been somebody that we really stay in touch with.”
— BC Telenet Oostende (@BCOOSTENDE) March 22, 2016