“Basketball meant a lot to me. It meant my whole life and basketball is who I am.” -Junior Robert Young
Basketball meant a lot to Young because he started playing when he was seven years old and was an important member of the boy’s basketball team. He dedicated his summer to playing travel ball for the Gamepoint Program, where he played against teams across the country and his team managed to get the third seed in the West Coast.
However, he is now unable to play basketball this year due to arthritis in his right knee, impacting his plans for the future.
Arthritis is a very common injury that occurs in areas such as, the knees, elbows, shoulders, fingers, and toes. It is caused when there is inflammation in one or more joints, where two bones come together. Arthritis cannot be cured, but can be treated in many various ways to relieve symptoms.
Prior to Young’s arthritis, he first fractured his shin in 2013 and had to stay in a cast for six weeks. After three months, he got back on the courts without going through physical therapy because he could not afford it at the time. When his knee started swelling and getting sore, he went to the doctors to find out he had torn his meniscus, the cartilage of the knee, from jumping and running while playing. Young had to go through surgery to get the meniscus removed, but because it was in a state that could not be repaired, the doctors only removed half of it.
After two years, he started to play basketball again. However during an off-season game, he got really sore which resulted in another visit to the doctors. After getting x-rays of his knee, he was told that he had arthritis in the outside of his right knee.
“Having arthritis at 17 years old is very young,” stated Young. “I knew it was major, but I didn’t know it was going to come this quick.”
He has been playing for Morse as point and shooting guard, ever since his freshman year.
“There were times where people doubted us,” expressed Young. “I pushed my teammates to do better because I knew that it would be worth it in the end if we strive for it.”
Young planned to play basketball in college but due to his injury, he had to change his whole plan for his future after high school.
“Now I have to find something different to grind for,” stated Young. “I can’t dwell on the past, I have to move forward.”
He plans to make school his first priority and attend a four year university where he can get a degree in African studies and music.
Through this experience Young got closer to God to help him cope with this and stay positive.
“It’s a blessing that I still get to walk and that I’m still here,” expressed Young. “When God closes one door, He will open another door leading me to another opportunity.”
Young is still optimistic because he knows this is not the end of basketball for him, since basketball was a big part of his life forming who he is today.
“This is definitely not the end,” expressed Young. “It’s not for sure that I am done with basketball, but as the looks of it right now, I have to accept it for what it is.”
Written by Tiger Bytes Editor,