The pain increased as time passed. Eric Katenda eventually pulled himself from the action and returned home.
The discomfort became unbearable. A teacher at his Connecticut prep school rushed him to the emergency room.
"At first, I thought it was just a stomach ache," the talented 2011 recruit said about the illness that cropped up during a late April tournament in Houston.
It turned out to be appendicitis. Doctors removed that part of his anatomy and Katenda lost 28 pounds while taking a month and a half to recover. An infection delayed the healing process.
"I'm trying to get my strength back, " said Katenda, who just started playing again about two weeks ago. "I'm drinking a lot of protein shakes and lifting. I'm getting there."
Katenda's goal is to bring his body from its current 195 pounds to 210 for the Peach Jam in two weeks. He says that the event will be very important to his evaluation for college scouts.
"I think my recruitment has slowed down since being out," said Katenda, ranked by Scout.com as the 20th best power forward nationally in his class. "My AAU coach said I was invited to the Vince Carter and LeBron (James) camps and I'm going to miss them. I don't want to co,me back too early and not play well.
"I'm hoping to play well at the Peach Jam."
"Right now, I'm looking at everything," Katenda said. "I want to talk to the coaches and get a feel. I don't have a Top 5 or anything like that. I hope to have something like that by the end of July.
"I probably won't start taking visits to those schools until September."
Katenda does not plan to schedule any visits before that time. He said that Iowa could be on his tour.
"If Iowa is in that Top 5, I'll head out there," Katenda said. "I'm real familiar with the coaches and feel comfortable with them so I'll definitely look at them. I have other options, too, so I want to see what else is on the table."