How tough it must be the to be the best player on the best high high school team in the country and not able to do anything right now but cheer - while balancing on your crutches.
That's the situation that University of Arkansas basketball signee Sean McCurdy (6-1, 180) of No. 1 St. Anthony's currently finds himself in after surgery on a broken bone in his foot.
"I am a guy who likes to be very positive about everything, but I'll admit it has been very disappointing," McCurdy said. "But I also know that everything happens for a reason and God has some plan for me that will make me stronger because of this. He just hasn't revealed that reason to me yet."
McCurdy, expected to be out until mid-February at the earliest, averaged 15 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists last season for St. Anthony's, the famed basketball program in Jersey City, N.J., that is run by Bob Hurley.
The Friars went 30-0 last season and started this season at No. 3 in the USA Today rankings, but moved up to No. 1 before even opening their season on the late-starting date of Dec. 19.
McCurdy was actually just getting back from a bout with tendonitis when he went up for a rebound in practice and a teammate came down on his foot.
"I thought at first I had just sprained my ankle really bad, but it turned out I had broke my fifth metatarsal bone in my foot," McCurdy said. "We went to the doctor, he checked it out and told us what was wrong and we had the surgery the next day on Dec. 8. I wanted to have it done as soon as possible so I could get back and play some this season."
McCurdy spent two weeks in a hard plaster cast and has now been switched to a soft cast protected by a boot.
"I'm still having to use the crutches and will have to for another four or so weeks," McCurdy said. "They are not much fun."
It was thought that McCurdy would be out 6-8 weeks from the time of the surgery, but his doctor told him after the surgery it would be more like 8-12 weeks.
"Really it's too early to tell one way or the other, but he is just trying to get me to be cautious and not rush things and do it the right way," McCurdy said. "Right now, though the best guess is mid-February or late February."
He would love to be back for a game ESPN is televising against Dominguez (Calif.) High on Feb. 8th.
McCurdy attended his team's first two games - a 12-point win over South Plainfield and a 40-point blowout of Create Charter School. But he's missing the trip to California this week as St. Anthony's plays in the San Diego Holiday Classic.
"I'd really like to be with them, but it just didn't make sense," McCurdy said. "I'm going to do what it takes to get back this season and that might have caused a setback."
Although he has already made his official trip to Arkansas back before signing in November, McCurdy had planned to make a trip back to see the Razorbacks, who are off to a 10-1 start.
"That probably won't happen now because of this injury, but hey, maybe I'll get to see them in the NCAA Tournament or something," McCurdy said. "They are doing great. That's got me really excited."
o o o
...Cyrus McGowan, the 6-9, 235-pound power forward from that joins with McCurdy to form Arkansas' 2005 recruiting class, has helped lead his Meridian (Miss.) High squad to a 11-1 record so far.
McGowan is averaging 8.1 points, 12 rebounds and 6 blocks per game.
...Former McGehee high school star Michael Washington (6-9, 220) has been reclassified as a 2006 prospect and is currently playing at Cleveland Heritage Christian Academy just outside of Houston.
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