Indiana Pacers forward Paul George suffered a devastating leg injury last Friday during a scrimmage in preparation for Team USA’s trip to the World Cup in Spain. He’ll miss up to 18 months, and if he is to make it back to the same level — he was a top seven player in the NBA this season — it’s going to be a long road and take a lot of hard work.
“Immediately following the injury, we had a lot of former student-athletes and community people reach out and say, ‘Hey we want to wish him well, we want to send something to him, what can we do?'” associate athletic director Paul Ladwig said. “So we got together very early Saturday morning and said why don’t we do a 6-foot-9 Paul George-size get-well card and invite the community down to sign.”
“Paul has meant so much to us since he has left. Every time we’ve called him to say could you do this for us or shoot this promo for us, Paul has been there for us. We just want him to know we’re there for him.”
George was an unknown recruit when he landed at Fresno State back in 2008, but thanks to his size, athleticism and ability to pay on the perimeter, he turned into a star at the college level. He left school after his sophomore season and was the No. 8 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.
“Paul George is an incredible ambassador for our university and basketball program,” Fresno State head men’s basketball coach Rodney Terry added. “We are all there for him and his family. We’re coming together as a community to show how much we love him.”
George is a two-time all-star and still hadn’t hit the ceiling of his ability.
Indiana Pacers star Paul George suffered a gruesome leg injury last night while defending a fast break during USA Basketball’s televised scrimmage in Las Vegas.
The injury to George — which you can read about at Pro Basketball Talk, without any photos or videos of the horrific injury — instantly drew comparisons to the leg injury suffered by former Louisville guard Kevin Ware during the 2013 Elite Eight against Duke.
While both leg injuries occurred in different ways — George hit the basket stanchion and Ware was closing out and challenging on a jumper — the gruesome nature of the leg injuries in high-profile, televised games made for instant comparisons on Twitter.
It’s nice to see Ware show support for George, since he’s probably one of the few people who could really place himself in his shoes at the moment.
It’s hard to say how similar the injuries to the two players actually are since news on George’s injury is still trickling in, but Ware had a very positive recovery from his March 31st leg injury. Ware had a rod inserted into his right tibia to help fix the compound fracture.
When Fresno State opens the home portion of its schedule against Cal State Northridge, Rodney Terry’s team should be playing in front of a good-sized crowd. Why? Because tickets to the game are free, thanks to Indiana Pacer Paul George.
George, fresh off of signing a five-year extension that guarantees him anywhere from $80 million to $90 million, bought every remaining ticket in the 15,596-seat Save Mart Center according to the Clay Moffitt of The Business Journal. Thanks to George fans can print out a voucher and bring it down to the school’s ticket office, and they’ll receive a ticket to the game.
As for season ticket holders, they’ll be able to sit in their usual seats and thus avoid the mayhem that can result in “free-for-all” situations. This is a great gesture on George’s part, giving back to the fans who supported him during his two seasons playing for the Bulldogs. During his career at Fresno State George averaged 15.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, and in 2010 he became the highest draft pick in school history when the Pacers selected him with the 10th overall pick.
George was also Fresno State’s first lottery selection since 2002, when forward/center Melvin Ely was picked 12th overall by the Los Angeles Clippers. In that particular draft three Bulldogs were selected: Ely, forward Chris Jefferies (27th overall, Los Angeles Lakers) and guard Tito Maddox (38th overall, Houston).
And for your viewing pleasure, here’s George as a freshman throwing down an emphatic dunk at Saint Mary’s.