Monday, December 13, 2010

Coach Raymonds

On Monday December 6, 2010 I learned that Coach Hank Raymonds passed away after a long battle with cancer. For those that don't know, Hank Raymonds is a legend at Marquette. He began his career as an assistant at MU in 1961 under Ed Hickey and later under Al McGuire. Hank was Al's successor after he retired following the 1977 National Championship. During his tenure as head coach he compiled a record of 126-50.

Hank was obviously a great coach but he was an even better human being. Coach Raymonds was always around when I was at Marquette. He would stop by at practice and would be at all of the games. We understood what he meant to the Marquette basketball program but also to the Marquette community.

I obviously never played for Coach Raymonds but I always enjoyed the conversations we had. He would always greet me with a gentle handshake and the conversation flowed so easily. Coach would offer words of wisdom for basketball but our conversations would flow into life as well. He left a mark on me as I am sure he did on every other Marquette player he had met.

Coach Raymonds is Marquette Basketball but he is also one of the reasons why Marquette University is such a special place for me and to so many other people.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bad Luck

Being injured is no fun but they are just part of the game and you have to deal with it. Show me someone that is playing to not get injured and I will show you someone that isn't playing very good. Unfortunately, I have had a bit of bad luck this year. On November 11 we were playing at home against Le Puy. It was a game that we needed to win because we had lost 3 in a row and Le Puy was playing very well going into the game.

The game started out very intense and physical which seems to be the norm for our league. I had taken a few shots in the beginning of the game and got bumped on every one. I knew that nothing was going to come easy against Le Puy. Five minutes into the 1st quarter my point guard was doubled in the post, and I cut down the lane to go up for a layup. Like my previous shots I had gotten bumped. Unlike my previous shots I landed awkwardly and rolled my right ankle.

I have rolled this ankle many times before but I had never rolled it like this. All of my weight landed on my ankle as I was coming down from jumping. I hit the deck immediately and rolled around on the floor in pain. I had never experienced pain like this before on the basketball court and that includes playing with a dislocated shoulder and playing a half with a broken elbow.

Rolled ankles are a tricky thing to deal with. I rolled my ankle in college a few times and I was back on the court right away. Unfortunately it was not possible to get back on the court as quickly this time. After being examined, the medical staff and the management came to the decision that I would need some time to recover. The recovery was important for them because they want me to play at 100% and that wouldn't be possible if I came back earlier. The decision was made to keep me out 4-6 weeks.

Last Saturday was 4 weeks and I am almost fully recovered. The tendon in my ankle is healed and the stability is back in it. The thing that is holding me back right now is the pain from the cartilidge and bone bruises on the inside of my ankle. I am not a doctor but I understand it like this. When the injury occurred, the bones knocked into each other so hard that they caused deep bruising. It is taking a longer time to heal because the bruising is so deep. I only have pain when I do athletic movements but do not feeling anything when I walk around.

It has been extremely hard to sit on the bench and watch the guys practice and play games. I find myself busier being injured too. I still have to go to all of the practices but now I have to get treatment everyday and I go to the weight room to try and keep my endurance on the exercise bike.

I get to shoot tomorrow for the 1st time and I am extremely excited about it. Hopefully I have turned the corner and will be back on the court soon. Christmas break is right around the corner so I have some extra time to recover back at home in Wisconsin and Michigan. I should be back on the court on January 8 against Bayonne.