When it was reported that LIU Brooklyn senior forward Julian Boyd tore the ACL in his right knee for the second time in his career back in early September, the hope was that he would be able to return to the court at some point in January. If that were the case Boyd, who won Northeast Conference Player of the Year honors in 2012, would certainly provide a boost to the Blackbird front court as the program looks to make a fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.
Unfortunately for Boyd and the program that will not be the case, as it was announced by the school on Thursday that he tore the ACL in his right knee for a third time during a non-contact drill in late December. As a result of the injury Boyd’s college career has come to an end.
Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com also reported the news.
“I feel so badly for Julian, he has worked tirelessly over the past year to rehabilitate his knee,” LIU Brooklyn head coach Jack Perri said in the release. “He was determined to make it back on the court in whatever capacity he could. He has such an incredible work ethic that you thought if anyone could do it, he could. I just can’t help but feel sick with all that he has gone through and had to deal with over his career.
“He is truly a special person and competitor that helped LIU Brooklyn basketball achieve unparalleled heights.”
Boyd’s LIU career very nearly ended in the summer of 2009, when he was diagnosed with noncompaction cardiomyopathy and forced to sit out the entire 2009-10 season. Boyd came back strong, earning first-team All-NEC honors in both his sophomore and junior seasons (he won NEC Rookie of the Year in 2008-09) and NEC Player of the Year as a junior (2011-12).
Boyd suffered the first of his three ACL tears in a game at Rice in December 2012, forcing him to miss the remainder of the 2012-13 season. With Boyd out of the lineup Jamal Olasewere rose to the occasion, winning NEC Player of the Year honors and helping lead the Blackbirds to their third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. With Olasewere having graduated, LIU’s had to adjust with Landon Atterberry (12.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg), Gilbert Parga (12.2, 3.6) and E.J. Reed (12.2, 4.9) leading the way in the front court.
The possibility of adding Boyd to a rotation that also includes one of the nation’s best distributors in Jason Brickman and Gerell Martin would have been a positive for LIU. But just as importantly, a return would have allowed Boyd to end his LIU career on his terms. Sadly, that won’t happen.