The meat of the hoops season has yet to begin and already some of the elite high school players are already on the shelf. This week, power forward Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood) announced he’d miss up to three months after fracturing his right foot in a game on November 24. Earlier in the fall, teammate Mickey Mitchell, a top-10 member of the sophomore class, tore his ACL in a football game, ending his season before it got underway. Prestonwood, which was supposed to one of the nation’s premier team’s, has been clobbered by injuries.
In mid-December, ESPN was set to televise Randle against Simeon’s Jabari Parker (Chicago/Simeon). It was to be one of the best individual matchups of the year, if not the past few. Well, that’s not going to happen and it’s not just due to Randle’s injury. Parker’s been on the shelf since June when he fractured the bone on the top of his right foot. His injury came while competing for Team USA in Lithuania.
In reality, Parker’s been banged up long before that. However, injuries are a part of the game and come with the turf. Regardless, I’ve always wondered if constant play, excessive games and long three-day AAU weekends are a contributing factor to the rash of injuries sustained by players. Could it be today’s player has less tread on his tires by the time he’s a senior in high school or freshman in college?