Tragic pickup hoops injury could cost recruit his Big East future
A Notre Dame basketball recruit is finding his future in jeopardy because he did exactly what he was supposed to over the summer: He stayed out of trouble and kept playing basketball.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Sporting News and a handful of other sources, recent high school graduate Eric Katenda, who was expected to play for Notre Dame in the 2011-12 season, may not be able to play on the Notre Dame basketball team because he has gone blind in one of his eyes. Katenda's blindness was caused by an injury sustained in a pickup basketball game in Washington, D.C., where an opponent accidentally hit Katenda's left eye, creating a massive build-up of blood behind his eyeball which eventually severed his optic nerve.
There is no prospect of recovering sight in the eye, which leaves the 6-foot-8 power forward with a long recovery process in which he'll have to learn how to adjust his depth perception and motor skills for a life with only one lens of sight. Whether or not he will ever be able to compete in basketball at a high Division I level with only one eye is a genuine doubt.
In the meantime, Notre Dame is adamant that it will honor his scholarship, provided Katenda completes the coursework he was scheduled to finish before enrolling at the school in September. Fighting Irish basketball coach Mike Brey is now encouraging the Wichita, Kan., native to take the fall off and enroll in the spring.
While such a dramatic turn of events could quite understandably alter a young basketball prospect's world view, Brey insisted that Katenda remained genuinely positive, both about his life and future at Notre Dame.
"[Katenda is] great," Brey told the Tribune. "He understands the reality that playing basketball at the Big East level may never be part of the equation again. He's very understanding of that. In the last two weeks, I think he's really come to grips with understanding that getting an education is now very, very important. He's very realistic about it.
"I don't know if I've been more depressed, handling Eric and talking to him through this. He's been unbelievable. His frame of mind has picked me up a couple times on the phone."
Katenda will need that spirit to push forward at Notre Dame, whether he does so with the basketball program or simply as a member of the general student body.
this is tragic.. its crazy how ur whole future can be ruined in a matter of seconds
That SUCKS. I definitely have the best wishes for him
This is sad news...
But I'm sure this kid is already thinking he's going to prove people wrong and play. And then there will be an even more huge story about his miraculous recovery and how he beat the odds to play basketball.
Getting poked in the eye is serious stuff though. Amare Stoudemire is blessed. I know wearing protective glasses or goggles isn't considered "cool", but I'd rather not look cool than get my eye poked out and risk blindness.
I've seen a one armed dude play ball, they going to try to stop dude cause he can only see out of one eye?
Unless their is something physically stopping him he should play regardless.
Can someone please embed this for me?
I read on the ESPN version of this article that his injury occured playing a game of "21", it wasnt even 5 on 5.
Wow. Almost heartbreaking. Good to see he's getting to keep his scholarship.
here he is working out in June. Looks like a player, too. Sad. Hope he gets a chance!
Here it is
^^^That is amazing. Dude is very talented. Draining shots...playing D...with 1 arm. Incredible.
One-Armed High School Football Player Plays Big Role
by Barry Rothbard | 4:04 pm, October 13th, 2010
Chance Anthony, a 157 pound student-athlete from Breckinridge County High in Kentucky, leads his high school team in catches and starts at wide receiver and linebacker. He also has only one arm.
Anthony was born missing the lower half of his right arm, but can bench press 235 pounds by balancing the bar on what acts as his right arm and his family calls “Nubby.”
Here’s an excerpt from the profile on Anthony by Rivals’ Steve Politi:
Breckinridge coach Scott Mooney said caught his first glimpse of that arm in action across the weight room one day. He saw a bench-press bar tilted dangerously in one direction, and fearing that somebody would get hurt, rushed across the room and started yelling.
“When I saw it, it was just a foot-in-mouth moment,” Mooney said. In order to bench press, Chance supports most of the weight with his hand and balances the other half of the bar on the end of his right arm.
“I was fixing to get on somebody for being unsafe,” the coach said, “and what was going on was, here was a kid who had every excuse in the world not to do the bench press doing his workout. I knew he was special then.
Anthony also has a 3.6 grade point average, can shoot a rifle, and is a nominee for the “High School Rudy Award.” Bam.
Image, story via Rivals
Isn't Marquette's backup Center Otule playing with a glass eye? I remember hearing that he either lost one eye very young or it was a birth defect (can't remember). Granted he has lived with it his whole life, but I see no reason for this young man Katenda not to red-shirt and at least try!
this is tragic i hope him the best, im glad notre dame are honoring his scholarship though