By Tiara Campobasso | firstname.lastname@example.org
For many athletes, a torn meniscus can be psychologically debilitating. But for Flagler junior Ben Bobbitt, finding out about the diagnosis pushed him to work harder to get back onto the court with his teammates.
Flashback to the beginning of the Flagler College basketball season in 2016 and Bobbitt was getting ready for the upcoming season when he first injured his knee.
He faced some swelling and later found out that it was a torn meniscus. He had to sit out for the first five and a half weeks of the basketball season.
“I was distraught,” said Bobbitt. “With minor setbacks, you just got to come back harder.”
Bobbitt sat out for that time and came back. The Jacksonville native played in 21 games last season with 14 starts, and scored a season-high 18 points in just his second game back from the injury.
But said the injury returned, partly because he had come back a bit too early.
“I came back too fast without letting the process of healing take its time,” he said. “I had to sit out for the whole summer to recover.”
The second time hit Bobbitt hard, but he said he focused on keeping a positive mindset.
“Nothing good comes out of being negative,” he said.
That optimistic outlook was noticed by one of his trainers, Matthew Richards.
“Ben was extremely positive throughout it all,” said Richards. “(He) does extra work to rehab himself quickly.”
Taking the extra steps and refusing to slow down paid dividends for the junior basketball player.
“My swelling doesn’t come back, and I don’t have to wear my brace, which are obvious improvements,” Bobbitt said.
While a lot of it was due to his hard work, he is quick to give credit to his trainers and new men’s basketball Head Coach Chad Warner.
“You know head coaches don’t have to sit on the side and talk to you about finishing conditioning, but he takes that extra step,” he said.
As the team starts practice and gets ready for the upcoming season, Warner said he has also seen improvements from the young basketball player.
“Ben has been eager to get back onto the floor,” he said.
As the season approaches, Bobbitt is seeing himself returning to his form prior to the injury.
“I’ll say it’s about 90 percent right now,” he said. “By the time Nov. 14 gets here, it will be a 100 percent at this rate.”
The first official game of the season will be on Nov. 14 at the Flagler College Gymnasium, and Bobbitt is excited for what’s to come.
“I think it’s going to be really great this year,” he said.