The plight of LIU Brooklyn forward Julian Boyd has had more twists and turns than the Yellow Brick Road in the Wizard of Oz.
The two–time first-team All-NEC selection and 2011-12 conference player of the year tore his right ACL and will miss at least the first two months of the season.
Boyd tore the same ACL eight games into the 2012-13 season and was sidelined the rest of the year, missing out on the Blackbirds third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Boyd was granted a medical redshirt and permitted to play in 2013-2014. Those plans were put on hold, however, after he injured his knee during a workout season on July 11. “I was going for a rebound and when I landed, I went one way and my knee went the other,” said Boyd.
This will be the third time Boyd will be forced to miss significant time on the basketball court. The Texas native, who holds career averages of 14.1 points and eight rebounds per game, missed the entire 2009-10 season because of a heart ailment.
But the 6-7, 230-pound forward was determined to play again this season, so much so that he wanted to play without an ACL. His doctors advised against it, citing a potential for permanent damage to the knee.
With a chance at a professional basketball career on the line, Boyd opted to take his doctor’s advice. His doctors said he could be back on the court in January.
“I have dreams that go beyond playing college basketball,” said Boyd.
And he said he has no plans to apply for another medical redshirt. “I’ve already been here way too long,” said Boyd. “This is definitely my last go-around.”
The Blackbirds will certainly be happy to have Boyd back this season.
LIU has won the last three NEC tournaments, qualifying for three consecutive NCAA Tournaments. But they must replace all-time leading scorer Jamal Olaswere and veteran guards C.J. Garner and Brandon Thompson.
They will also be without forwards Booker Hucks and Kenny Onyechi.
But there are several returnees and newcomers expected to fill void. Talented point guard Jason Brickman returns to the lineup along with junior guard Troy Joseph. Freshman guard Iverson Fleming is expected to provide an immediate impact.