Steele Continues To Make Progress

When Syracuse University Basketball Coach Jim Boheim and his committee of 10 to select coaches and players for the 2007 Pan American Games got together, they didn't even consider one of the nation's finest point guards for the United States team.

Alabama Coach Mark Gottfried is an assistant coach on the team. Crimson Tide players Richard Hendrix and Alonzo Gee are among the 32 men selected to try out for the 12-man team that will play in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, beginning late this month.

But the selection committee did not even consider upcoming Bama senior guard Ronald Steele.

In a meeting with media Tuesday, Gottfried said, "Ron Steele would have been invited (to the tryouts) if his health had permitted, but since he couldn't play, his name wasn't on the list." Gottfried said, "Ron is doing really, really well." Steele, a pre-season All-America in 2007 had a tough year as he battled knee problems.

In early April Dr. Lyle Cain of the fame surgical team of Dr. Jim Andrews performed surgery on both of Steele's knees.

"It has been three months now," Gottfried said. "Dr. Andrews and Dr. Cain want to get him to specific levels. Right now he is shooting and doing soft jogging. He is not cutting.

"Fortunately, time is on our side. We're not trying to rush things.

"He's not cleared for full-court basketball, but hopefully he will be in the near future."

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