Tuesday, February 16, 2010
United in prayer...
A prayer at center court. Basketball fans are still talking about what happened at a high school game Friday night. It's not because of a great play, but because of the way two teams came together after one player was injured.
There's a player missing from Monday's practice at Wichita's East High. Although from his bed at Wesley Medical Center, Randall Rogers still manages to work on his shot.
"He's our senior leader. Man, he loves the game of basketball," said Demetrius Johnson-Reed, Rogers' teammate.
It's Rogers' senior season as captain of East's basketball team. Friday night it was the Blue Aces versus Maize South. Deb Phillips, a Maize South parent was filming the game as Rogers stole the ball and went up for a lay-up. He came down wrong on his right leg.
"It was obvious it was a serious injury," said East Coach Ron Allen. "It dawned on me that I had heard the snap."
"First it was a scream," said Bob Love, East High parent. "Everyone screamed, and then there was dead silence."
Then a voice echoes through the gym.
"I just had to shake the nerves, and call on God, and he would answer hopefully," said Johnson-Reed.
In a circle near center court, he started to pray. Blue jerseys stood next to white jerseys, hands locked together.
"Everyone bowed their heads, and said 'Amen' together as just one big unit," said Johnson-Reed. "It wasn't just East and Maize South, it was everyone together."
"Me, an old man, I teared up myself it was so emotional," said Love.
"It was a good feeling. It took my head off of being injured at that moment," said Rogers.
The crowd cheered as Rogers left on a stretcher. His leg is broken in three places. Three days later, he's groggy, but in good spirits.
"I have a metal rod down my shin and two pins in my knees and ankle," said Rogers.
The worst part is knowing that his senior season is over, but Rogers says he'll lead from the sidelines for the team that picks each other up when one of them goes down.
East High went on to win the game Friday night. Rogers should be out of the hospital by Tuesday. He still hopes to play college basketball next season.
By Denise Hnytka (WICHITA, Kan.)