The ball was up in the air. Mr. Chris Koon himself rebounded the ball and passed it ahead to Alex, the guy from New Mexico. As Alex took off up court, JT, Vaughn, and I rushed down to see if we could get an easy bucket. Alex passed it up to Vaughn and as he went up for a layup got blocked. The ball was up in the air and I leaped for the ball as I watched it come towards me. Unfortunately, a guy that was 4 inches taller than me, from the other team, got the ball instead. As I landed, I felt a piercing crack in my right foot. We somehow got the ball back and another shot was put up by Alex Garcia, the guy from New Mexico. The ball rimmed in and out and somehow I was the only one near the basket to get the rebound. When I got the ball, I was pretty much alone under the basket with the closest defenders three feet away from me. But I couldn’t go up with it. I dribbled out and as I continued to feel the same pain of the crack in my foot, I knew something was wrong. Before I could try and dribble the ball out, the ref saw the pain I was in right away and blew his whistle to get me off the court.
I went straight to the bench. I knew something was off. Coach Jason started asking me questions about the type of pain I was in and where it was. The trainers wrapped ice around my foot and I was sidelined for the rest of the game. Fast forwarding to after the game, the drive back home to go see a doctor was the worst. Every bump we went over hurt. Every dent in the road we went over hurt. The unknown about my foot hurt my head wondering what will would be the diagnosis. I’ve felt this kind of pain in my other foot in the same area but not to the same magnitude. Not to the same feeling of knowing that it’s more than just a minor injury. A sharp pain that was felt everytime I stepped on it. The doctor told me I had a fifth metatarsal fracture. A bone on the outside of my left foot. It would be about 3 weeks in a cast and about 2-3 weeks in a boot after. I would miss most of my senior season.
Throughout the first week of being in a cast, everything wasn’t so bad. Not that I took advantage of it at all, but people were doing things for me when I didn’t even ask. Trii was being nice to me and people were having fun trying to use the crutches when most of them didn’t realize that the crutches were too tall for them to use. Everything was all right until we played Lennox Academy on January 5th, about a week since after I broke my foot. As my mom and I were going through traffic to get to the gym, itoccurred to me that this was going to be the first game I would not play in for my high school career. Lennox ended up not showing up that night so technically no one played in that game, but still. People couldn’t tell but all I could think about was not being out there with my team. I started having questions pop up in my head. Was I going to lose the connection I had with my teammates on the court? How much weight am I going to gain? How much muscle am I going to lose? I had worked so hard in the off season to be in the best shape possible for the upcoming season, and this is how it ends up. A broken foot. All the thoughts that came to my head were negative. That whole night the only thing I could think of was why me and why now. I thought about how it takes me 4 seconds to get up one step. I thought about how I now must take baths with a foot sticking out of the tub rather than a shower.
That next morning, we had a team workout at Oak Street that was supposed to be focused on shooting. As I watched from the sidelines I tried giving motivation and tips to teammates who were struggling with their shot. I felt so distant from the team and didn’t feel like I was doing much to help. It felt weird just sitting, watching, and constantly yelling at JT and Brandon Clay. I wanted to do something active, but there’s not much I could do. I decided to pick up a ball that was close to me and start dribbling while sitting down. While still giving motivation to my teammates, I continued to dribble the ball and started a dribble series. It was then when I realized that I was complaining and pondering over something that was out of my control. The broken foot happened. I have no control over my foot. It was then that I decided to not worry about something out of my control, and worry about the things that I can control. By being salty about what happened, I spent time thinking about negative things and didn’t use that time to think about ways I could come back even stronger. My dad had always told me that but, of course, I wasn’t listening and didn’t realize what he meant till now. Since I was going to be missing the bulk of the games in our season due to my foot, this concept was reinforced before and after every single game I missed. It has motivated me to do everything I could to make sure I was set for a faster recovery: eating right and doing any type of physical exercise I could, to get some sort of blood pumping in my body.
After the three weeks of being in my initial cast, I went to back to the doctors to take X-rays on my foot. Although the bone was making good progress, it was still fractured a good amount and the doctor said I needed to put another cast on for two more weeks. When I got back into the car, with a new cast that had no signatures on it and no mileage on it, I cried. That was the first time I ever shed a tear about missing basketball. They were MANLY tears obviously, but still tears. Using my newly learned concept, I quickly wiped them off, and started thinking about what else I could do to help the process along.
Many times, in the past, I would overthink things that I had no control over. Whether it was a fight with my parents, or a mistake I made in school, far too many times I would think about what happened, instead of using that time to think about ways I could help the situation. Think of what happened in the past in a positive aspect and find meaning behind what happened. Now that I might look back on it, maybe I got injured to learn the lesson of patience, or maybe it was to help build my upper body strength because the only physical exercise I can do is pushups. Maybe I got hurt so I could have something to write about for my senior speech. Although I’m still going through it right now, I have learned to, once again, control what I can, and not think so much about the rest.Click here for full video