Bruins Preparing for Sectional Basketball Game
Alex Austin, the Bruins' three-point specialist and leading scorer, at first feared he couldn't play in any game after being hurt during practice.
"When he jumped back, I tried to take another step and I kind of landed awkward," Austin explained. "And my knee buckled up and I just hit the ground."
Coach Jim Scanlon added, "All the coaches were sick and all the players were sick, and not so much for us but for Alex."
Austin said, "I was thinking, 'I guess my season is over. I may have to get surgery. I won't get to play again this year.'"
After Austin has surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament, he will have five months of rehabilitation before he can try to play again.
But, delaying surgery would give him one last shot at playing in his senior season.
"Alex and his parents decided to let him try," said Rock Bridge Trainer Phil Threatt. "And, at this point, there was no expectation."
So, Austin rehabbed twice a day, six times a week. Only 8 days after he tore his ACL, Austin started jumping rope.
"I'm willing to do whatever it takes and more to get back," he explained. "However long they want me to stay here, I'll stay here."
On Senior Night, Austin suited up with a knee brace for the first time in 3 weeks. He played 4 minutes and hit a pair of three-pointers.
"It was a dream," he admitted. "When it happened, I didn't think I'd be playing again this season."
Scanlon added, "I was kind of amazed. It's way beyond my thinking to tear an ACL and play and shoot like that."
Austin is cherishing every minute, whether it's on a rehab bike or on the basketball court.
"I'm happy for Alex," said Threatt. "I hope he can keep going. We just cross our fingers and sit and watch."
Scanlon summed it up, "A lot of kids would have given up and they'd have probably just said, 'I'm done,' but he wouldn't be denied."