Injuries End Damion Grant's Playing Career

Damion Grant, a 6-11, 260-pound center, will no longer be able to play basketball due to a right ankle injury he suffered in the summer, University of North Carolina head coach Roy Williams announced today.

He played in both of Carolina's exhibition games in the Bahamas in early September.

"Damion gave it a shot, but it was clear to him after three days of practice and two games that playing this season would be a real struggle," says basketball athletic trainer Marc Davis.

Grant, a senior from Portland, Jamaica, has battled injuries throughout his three-plus years at UNC. He played in 28 games -- 19 as a freshman in 2002-03, three as a sophomore in 2003-04 and six as a junior in 2004-05. He compiled 30 points, 28 rebounds and 15 blocked shots as a freshman, and added seven rebounds in action limited by injuries over the last two seasons.

He injured his thumb and knee as a sophomore and was unable to play in the second semester last year due to a stress fracture in his foot.

"I'm disappointed by the situation," says Grant. "I would've liked the opportunity to help my team this year, but it wasn't meant to be. I'll focus on graduating in May and try to get into law school. I'll stay involved with the program this year and help out in any way I can. Despite all of my injuries, I have no regrets being at Carolina. It's a great academic institution and a great basketball program. I want to thank the coaches, my teammates and my girlfriend, Amber Campbell, and her family for their continued support."

"I hate it for Damion because he was prepared to play this year and had an opportunity to help us," says Williams. "He never really got a chance to show me what he could do because he was never close to 100 percent healthy in the last two years. When he was on the court, he competed hard against Sean (May), Marvin (Williams) and the other big guys in practice. He's a bright young man who will do well in life after college even without basketball.

"From a basketball perspective, it certainly has an impact on our frontcourt depth. We didn't have much to start with and now we are losing our biggest low-post player."

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