Chauncey Orr works way back from injury, gets back on the court

Basketball

Basketball

Basketball has been in Chauncey Orr’s life since he was four or five years old and if this past year has taught him anything, it is that basketball is a blessing.

“You can’t take anything for granted,” said the 6-foot-4-inch Bowling Green guard. “No game is promised. I just treat every day as a special blessing.”

Blessed he is. Orr went through two surgeries on his knee in a one-year span and is on the court preparing for the upcoming season.

He injured his knee in an exhibition game against Malone this past season. Orr’s kneecap was subluxed out of place, he said.

A subluxed kneecap, according to hopkinsortho.org, is when the kneecap is partially dislocated from its normal position.

“It just wasn’t stable,” Orr said. “It was kind of painful for the first two games and throughout practice.”

Coming back from that injury, senior and roommate Demarkeo Lyshe believes Orr is back to “normal Chauncey.”

It took time for him to get back to “normal Chauncey,” though, including hard decisions and roadblocks.

Orr sustained the knee injury in the exhibition game, a game in which he totaled 16 points in 29 minutes on the floor.

The injury was caused by a fall while Orr was driving to the basket, he said.

“I just remember driving to the basket and it collapsing on me,” Orr said. “I tried to test it out but couldn’t.”

Orr would continue to test his knee out in practice and even tried to play in the season opener against Earlham College. He played 12 minutes and scored 14 points before being taken out for the rest of the game.

That was the last time Orr would touch the floor that season.

“It was something where I wanted to be able to push through and help my team,” Orr said. “I just physically couldn’t.”

The best way for Orr to help his team was to get healthy. That was his plan as he waited on surgery to see if he could test it again.

Orr said it got to the point where he couldn’t even walk so he decided to have surgery. He had a successful surgery in December 2013.

A month into his rehab, Orr had a setback: he had a staph infection.

The infection forced him to have a second surgery on his knee in mid-January.

“It was painful … it was tough. It was something I had never experienced before,” Orr said. “I’ve never had surgery but it was something I’m blessed to get through.”

During both surgeries and the months of hard rehab, Orr was a spectator for a team he played with every day and a coach who he grew up with.

Orr said being a spectator was the toughest part of the situation.

“Not being able to be a part of the last year and helping my teammates was tough,” Orr said.

Orr was missed on the floor. No time was more obvious than during the stretch of five games when each game came down to the last possession. The Falcons would go 1-4 during that period.

The Falcons were 4-5 in the Mid-American Conference play before that stretch. After that, they were 5-9 with four games left in the season.

“Sometimes I feel like I could have reached out more,” Orr said. “It was a tough situation to be in and having to watch them.”

Lyshe doesn’t believe there was anything more Orr could have done.

“Chauncey did everything he could,” Lyshe said. “Those close games we lost, Chauncey was out and he really couldn’t do anything. Chauncey would step up at halftime and put his two cents in to motivate us, but at the end of the day it was us playing.”

The season ended with a 54-51 loss in the first round of the MAC Tournament to Northern Illinois University. Orr immediately looked toward the future.

He has been in rehab for six months and is still rehabbing from the knee injury. He was able to take his first steps on the floor for contact drills in June.

“I was able to get out there, run and test it out,” Orr said. “I just felt blessed to be back on the court.”

It has been a full year since Orr stepped on the floor in a game setting, but before he can do that he must learn the new play style that new head coach Chris Jans plans to implement. That takes continuing to get in shape and getting back to where he was before the injury, Orr said.

“I would say I’m getting close to where I was,” he said. “Getting back in shape was probably the hardest part. I still have to be in better shape, but it’s been a year since I played. I’m just trying to do the maintenance pieces on my body.”

Orr will have the chance to put the past year of surgeries and being a spectator behind him on Friday when he steps on the floor for the team’s exhibition game against Notre Dame College.

“[Playing Friday] is going to be an exciting experience, especially with that year off,” he said. “It’s a new season and I’m ready to get out there with my teammates and help them out. I want to be a better teammate on the court and do whatever it takes to win.”