Steve Swiech recovers from surgery

The University of Pittsburgh is currently evaluating a number of talented local prospects. One of the most complete student athletes on the Panthers' radar happens to be big man Steve Swiech from Elizabeth Forward High School in Elizabeth, PA. Swiech recently underwent surgery on his foot. The talks with him about his recovery.

Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon and staff have been actively pursing a number of quality 2007 prospects. Big man Steve Swiech (6-foot-9 inches, 240 pounds) has elicited plenty of attention. The talented big man recently underwent surgery on his foot. He spoke to the about his procedure.

"I had the surgery completed today. They put a screw into my 5th metatarcle or "pinky" toe," stated Swiech. "My foot is really numb right now but I feel pretty good otherwise."

"I started to limp after every game around Christmas. I would get up the morning after and it would be OK. I guess I didn't think about it. I finally went to see a doctor and they told me I had a stress fracture in my toe. Despite the results they still let me play."

Steve felt that he could live with his injury until a player from Derry Area High School decided to exacerbate his problem. "We were playing Derry and one of their players was coming down and landed on my foot," he said. "The impact twisted some muscled in my foot and hurt the stress fracture even worse."

"It's going to take 6 to 8 weeks to recover from the injury. I'm going to work on my upper body while the cast is on. When they remove the cast, I'll probably start some physical activity like swimming. I'm going to take advantage of this and try to make myself better."

Swiech, a highly articulate and intelligent young man, averages 28.4 points per game. He has scored over 30 points on four different occasions. Steve heavily focused on conditioning over the summer and lost 30 pounds. He believes his weight loss has greatly improved his mobility and overall performance.

Swiech (pronounced Swick) recently attended the Panthers home game against Providence. He continues to favor the hometown Panthers. "Coach Dixon and the staff at Pitt have been good to me. He told me to keep up the good work and they would continue to evaluate me," he said. "They have told me to come to practice if I was ever close to Pittsburgh. I really hope things work out with Pitt."

Duquesne and Akron have already extended Steve a scholarship offer. He recently visited Wake Forest and West Virginia. Swiech was set to visit Xavier but the visit was delayed due to his injury. He continues to express interest in Penn State as well.

"I feel like I could play power forward and center on the next level. I guess you could say I'm a bit of a hybrid. I have learned so much from my AAU and high school coach. They have taught me a ton of post moves. Every one is drilled into my head."

"Over the summer I started working on 5 to 10 foot jump shots. That are of my game has improved. It's given me the confidence to play power forward. My position is going to go hand in hand with the type of system the team runs."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at

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