UCONN Center Target Hurts Ankle

Long Island big man John Garcia is done for the summer

LOS ANGELES -- All John Garcia could do was watch as the Syracuse-Rochester Area Players were eliminated on Thursday night from the Best of the Summer Tournament here at Loyola Marymount.

Garcia, the rugged 6-8 power forward from Brentwood H.S. in Brentwood, N.Y., suffered an ankle sprain in SRAP's final pool game on Wednesday night. So he sat out for precautionary reasons in SRAP's heartbreaking quadruple overtime loss to the Friends of Hoop Wisconsin squad.

"I got hurt yesterday going up for a rebound," Garcia explained. "I put the ball back in and I came down and rolled my ankle."

"It was a pretty bad sprain and it was really swollen after the game," Garcia continued. "They told me that they were going to look at it to see if I could play tomorrow."

Of course, with SRAP's loss on Thursday, there won't be a tomorrow, as the club was eliminated from the Best of the Summer with the loss. "I just have to rest on it," Garcia added. "I will be fine, once I get home and relax."

Still, in the back of his head, Garcia couldn't help but think if Thursday night's outcome might have been different had he been able to suit up for SRAP.

"Of course I was disappointed," Garcia said. "I have never been injured before, and it really hurt to watch my team go out there and lose like that when I could have been out there, helping them out." Garcia has already stated he has a top list of St. John's, Seton Hall, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Connecticut, Kentucky and Richmond. Every school except for Kentucky and Connecticut have offered Garcia a free ride. The UCONN staff has also been busily pursuing Andrew Bynum, the center from New Jersey.

Bynum is expected to hold a workout tomorrow in New Jersey and the UCONN staff will be among many on hand to watch the big man give his last performance of the evaluation period.

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