The Texas A&M Aggies men’s basketball team’s night began with a chance to receive a very nice early Christmas present, but it ended with a huge lump of coal after a devastating loss and not just one in the L column.
It was gift wrapped for them to be nationally ranked going into the New Year with last night’s game being the Aggies last of 2009. They started great and were leading early in the second half at the #19 Washington Huskies.
Then, the Aggies chance at starting 2010 ranked came crumbling down as senior guard Derrick Roland broke his tibia and fibula when he landed awkwardly after attempting a lay up. It’s a scary and nasty site to see the result of how his leg looks while he’s laying on his back being attended to by team physicians. The link below shows his leg about 40 seconds in.
After the injury Washington went on a 15-4 run and never gave Texas A&M the lead back.
Roland’s fellow back court guard and friend since middle school, senior Donald Sloan, was visibly shaken by the severity of his long time buddy’s injury.
Roland and Sloan are the Aggies two leading scorers and leaders both on and off the court. Roland is also the team’s best defensive player and with his career likely over it’s going to be tough for Texas A&M to compete in a highly competitive Big 12 conference.
Worse than that, Roland is not likely to be released from the Seattle hospital he is at before Christmas day. The school is attempting flight arrangements for a few of Roland’s family members to visit him during his stay, but that will be tough to accommodate during the holiday season. Some teammates will remain with him at least until his family members arrive or until Roland is cleared to fly back home.
When Roland signed to be an Aggie he was probably expecting that to be short for an agricultural basketball student. With last night’s injury the term Aggie took a whole new meaning for Roland. It turned into the agony of his career being shortened by injury while spending his senior year Christmas break in a cold Seattle hospital pondering if he’ll make it to the comfort of his own home to see his family during the holidays.