Giving - Office of Development and Alumni Relations

Carrollwood Day School senior gives back to USF Concussion Center
Photo of Laney Higgins at the USF Concussion Center

Laney Higgins at the USF Concussion Center

Laney Higgins has been playing volleyball for 10 years, more than half of her life. A 17-year-old senior at Carrollwood Day School, Laney experienced a series of concussions a few years ago that prevented her from performing and feeling her best on the court.

After many doctors’ appointments with no improvements in her symptoms, Laney’s dad, Rob, began seeking other options for rehabilitation options and a colleague referred him to the USF Concussion Center. During her first appointment, Dr. Dusty Narducci quickly diagnosed what other doctors couldn’t before and helped Laney to fully recover through a personalized treatment plan.

“As a parent, any time your child gets hurt, you always want to see them recover as quick as possible and get back to 100%. That’s exactly what happened when Laney was introduced to the USF Concussion Center and Dr. Narducci,” said Rob.

Now concussion-free, Laney has committed to play volleyball this fall at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia. She is also one of the first high school student-athletes in the country to sign a name, image, and likeness (NIL) deal, which was recently allowed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) last summer for college athletes to earn a form of compensation.

Her NIL partnership with Q-Collar, an FDA-cleared device that helps protect athlete’s brains from the effects of repetitive head impacts, made her the first volleyball player to represent the product.

“When extraordinary athletes such as Laney share their stories, they are spreading awareness about concussions and changing lives,” said Dr. Narducci.

Photo of Laney Higgins presenting USF Concussion Center Director, Dr. Byron Moran, with a check

Laney Higgins presents USF Concussion Center Director Dr. Byron Moran with a check

In appreciation of Dr. Narducci’s care, Laney has donated the profits from her NIL deal to the USF Concussion Center to help other young athletes who have suffered concussions but hope to continue their playing careers.

“A lot of people aren’t aware of how many head injuries happen in volleyball so I’m really passionate about wanting to create more awareness around the issue,” said Laney. “I believe that giving back will help future athletes who are struggling with head injuries like I did.”

To support the USF Concussion Center, click here or email for more information.

Story by Jessica Martinez/Photos by John Tipton; USF Advancement Communications and Marketing.