Caleb Homesley's letter by Fanword
Featured story presented by FanWord.com
There I was again. Down on the floor, clutching my knee.
I knew exactly what happened. After all, I've been there before.
Last time, it took me nearly a year to overcome this dark pit of pain and agony. It was the one thing in life that nearly broke me.
Do I really have to do this again?!
I remember snapping out of my dream-like state and staring into the eyes of Coach McKay. I immediately knew what was up. There was no need for any sideline tests or high-tech medical gadgets to reveal the diagnosis.
It was the sort of gut-punch accident that made me question my entire basketball future before.
I just knew it, man.
But not long after verbally committing to Liberty, I went through one of my worst experiences ever.
In my senior year of high school, I suffered a torn ACL and was forced to undergo surgery, followed by an intense rehabilitation process.
It was in the fourth quarter of a game, and I took an awkward step when reaching out to grab a ball thrown out ahead of me.
I'd never experienced a serious injury at the time, and it was a situation I really didn't fully comprehend at first, to be honest.
It wasn't long before an MRI revealed the catastrophic knee injury.
My senior season was in the books.
I can't express the amount of worries and concerns that ran through my head.
No one knows this but once I got home after the MRI, I went to my room, and started crying. It was such a shock to me, you know?! And frankly, I just didn't want my emotions to show. Well, now you all know.
My first real sigh of relief came when Liberty kept the offer on the table. They were willing to ride it out with me and get me into their program. So, before I ever wore the Liberty uniform, I knew that I had made the right decision. This meant a lot to me.
All I had left was the tall task of completing an exhausting rehabilitation process.
Whether I was stretching, completing rehab exercises, walking around on crutches, or simply sleeping, it was some of the most painful months of my life.
Of course, the strenuous rehabilitation was only part of the process.
When I finally returned to action, I was basically thrown into the fire of college basketball after sitting out games in my senior year of high school.
It was a completely new experience and Coach McKay had taken over as the head coach. Not to mention, I still wasn't completely 100 percent back from my injury. My game wasn't polished, and it showed in my inconsistent play on the floor.
In high school, I may have been somebody. But here, in college, I was a nobody, and I needed to prove myself first. It was an important learning lesson right from the start.
We found out about the tournament having been canceled through our coach.
He congratulated us on a great season and then apologized for the way it ended. I mean, what can a coach really say at that point, you know?!
Personally, I told myself that this wasn't one of the worst things that's ever happened to me. I felt like I took it a little different than other guys because I had basketball taken away from me twice.
I knew I'd get to wake up one day and play ball again. Something I wasn't so sure of after my two ACL surgeries.
I took it as a peace almost because basketball wasn't taken away from me.
I'd get to walk away and continue on my path towards pursuing my dreams of playing professionally.
That doesn't mean I didn't feel bad for the other guys on the team by any means. My heart breaks for them more so than myself in these unprecedented times.
But, I also really feel like God is trying to tell us something here.
Whether he's giving us a chance to slow down and be with our loved ones, or simply wants us to pay more attention to caring for and loving one another.
Maybe the world needs to shift a little bit.
That sort of thinking is a bit strange coming from me, but so much has changed since I came to Liberty.
My strength coaches, trainers, teammates and family—I feel like everyone brought me back out of the deep, dark pit.
After all, I'm a strong believer that everything happens for a reason.
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