(Photo credit: Mullen Athletics) In all his life playing basketball, Nathan Davis had never missed more than a week due to injury or any other reason. Unfortunately, major injuries don’t discriminate and they can strike at any time. Davis, the…
(Photo credit: Mullen Athletics)
In all his life playing basketball, Nathan Davis had never missed more than a week due to injury or any other reason.
Unfortunately, major injuries don’t discriminate and they can strike at any time.
Davis, the dynamic 6-foot-7 guard ranked No. 3 in Prep Hoops Colorado’s 2016 class, suffered a torn ACL in April at the Real Deal Tournament in Arkansas while playing with Colorado Hawks 17U. The injury came while Davis — whose blend of length, athleticism, shooting ability and high skill level make him an eye-catching prospect — was playing some of the best basketball of his career, and just as his recruiting was set to reach new levels.
“I was getting a bunch of (attention from) mid-majors, and during my last high school season, a bunch of high-majors started knowing about me,” Davis told Prep Hoops Colorado. “Some of the Hawks coaches, and the Miners coaches I used to play for, they were calling schools and they started talking to me. So there were a lot of schools that were going to be talking to me during the April live period, but it was a week before that I got injured.”
It made the pain of the knee injury throb even worse.
“When I got injured, I was really upset,” Davis said. “It was heartbreaking because I was like, ‘This is my last summer and I’m not going to have a chance to show what I can do on the biggest possible stage.’ Talking to my parents and coaches and things, other options came up. I was really upset because I was going to miss my whole summer, but after talking to them and figuring out other options to still be able to get my name out there, in terms of recruiting and things like that, it made me feel a little better than I was before.”
Davis was quickly touched by the swell of support around him, particularly from the close-knit Hawks community, an outreach he called “pretty amazing. Together, they started going through options of how Davis could still capitalize on the recruiting attention that was just starting to reach a fever pitch when he went down.
Eventually, Davis and his family decided spending a year at a postgraduate school, that could allow him to reclassify to the class of 2017 and spend another summer on the high-exposure Adidas Uprising circuit, is a solid option to put on the table. They have yet to come to a final decision on the matter, but Davis can certainly see the benefits of such a move.
“So it would be like I had another senior year after I graduate this year, basically,” he said. “Me and my family, we’re still deciding on it. We want to do that, but there are a lot of other things that play into that. If I do decide to do that, we’ll probably decide in the next two to three months. Some of the prep schools you have to apply, but there are different types. A couple ones that have been talking to me, you have to apply by December. I just want to get all of this out of the way so I can just focus on the season.”
On the court, Davis said he is making great progress. Saturday will mark the fourth-month mark since the injury, and Davis, who averaged 20.4 points and 6.8 rebounds as a junior at Mullen last year, has already returned to the court in part-time capacity. He is shooting, working on ball-handling and running. He’s not yet at full-speed and isn’t yet time to test the lateral movement of the knee required for playing defense.
All in all, Davis says everything is going well so far, but this smart, cerebral player also isn’t about to rush his recovery.
“I’m supposed to be cleared in early November,” he said,” but the time period between November and January is kind of up in the air. I could back any time in there, or even after, maybe. I just want to take my time with the whole process. … “It’s tough. You have to be really smart about it. I’ve heard so many stories about kids whose knees felt really good when they were three our four months out of surgery. Then they thought they could play and then they got hurt again. I just know there’s a much bigger picture than this coming season or this next open gym. I’ve just got to be mindful of that.”
By all accounts, Davis’ recovery has come with a great plan and a great support. Here’s hoping his return to the court is just as smooth — whenever that time comes.