By this time next month, David Lighty is hoping to be at 100 percent and ready to begin his senior season at Cleveland Villa Angela – St. Joseph. But as Tom Petty once said, the wait is the hardest part.
The 6-5 senior guard averaged 24 points a game last season as a junior, but tore his ACL in the district finals back in the first week of March. Lighty reported to Bucknuts on Monday afternoon that he's progressing nicely, and could be back in action completely by mid-October.
"Next month hopefully, I'll be ready to go," he said excitedly. "I get to go back to the doctor and if everything goes as planned, I'll be back playing."
As of now, Lighty is already running straight ahead with no problems. He also continues to work out and participate in shooting drills.
His routine has become like clockwork. So much so that he's now benching over 270 pounds and considers himself to be in the best shape of his life by far.
"It's going real well," he said of the lifting and workouts. "I'm stretching my lateral movement and stuff like that. I'm working on getting to make sharp cuts on my knee and everything."
Lighty has been lifting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while doing sprints and other footwork drills on Tuesday and Thursdays. On Wednesdays and Thursdays after his workouts, he goes to the gym and does basketball drills both on his own and with his teammates.
The focus right now is building back the strength and versatility in the repaired knee. Lighty says that he is able to run straight ahead and jump on the knee, but it's just not ready to make turns and twists just yet.
In the meantime, Lighty has used the weekends as his personal time, although he's maintained straight A's for the new school year.
"The weekends are when it's time to sit down and watch football," Lighty said with a laugh.
And that he's done.
He watched the Ohio State – Texas game with the other three, and several other prospects in the class of 2007, including his AAU teammate on the Titans, Dallas Lauderdale.
"It was crazy and it was a loss, but I still had fun," he said of the time spent at the game. "Even though I really wanted them to win, but we'll get them next time."
Watching football wasn't the only activity on his visit. Lighty and the others found time to partake in another pastime – food.
"We ate a little bit," Lighty laughed. "Well, we ate a lot actually."
"Chicken wings, turkey sandwiches, ham sandwiches, there was a lot to eat. We tailgated a bit and played that game -- I can't think of the name but we tossed beanbags around," he added.
According to Lighty, the chance to hang out with the other recruits was an important one.
As for Lauderdale, Lighty has had the chance to hang around him plenty. In fact, he still finds time to play with Lauderdale every so often.
"I think I'm working out with him one day this week actually," Lighty noted. "I'm probably going to head over to Solon and see him."
Lighty hopes Lauderdale will be playing with him for a couple of more years at least. To do that, Lauderdale will have to make a commitment one way or another, and Lighty hopes that commitment is to the Buckeyes.
But as for a timeframe…
"I don't know if it will be soon or not, but I think he's leaning quite a bit to Ohio State," Lighty surmised. "He really had a good time at the game, especially with so many people there. It was exciting."
Apparently Lighty has rubbed off on his younger AAU teammate. Now Lauderdale, standing about 6-10, has begun working on his outside jump shot.
Should Lighty feel a bit threatened because his friend is imitating him?
"Oh man, he hits them too," Lighty joked of Lauderdale's three-point shooting. "It surprises me but he makes them. His release is definitely slow, but hey he makes them."
Despite the loss that Lighty wasn't too thrilled over, he had a lot of fun and hopes to do it again soon. In fact, he still plans to take his official visit that he's yet to use up. He notes that if he's going to take the official visit to Ohio State, it will probably be before the end of September.
If that happens, it will be more of Lighty's football and food.
"It was fun spending time with all of them," he reiterated of the tailgating. "The games and food and everything was really cool."
Maybe the wait isn't so hard after all for him. But by this time next month, he hopes to replace his football time with a little basketball.
There's no questioning he's waited long enough for that.