The pain hasn’t gone away for Westlake’s Marcus Thornton, who suffered one of the most bizarre injuries in the history of the state’s basketball tournament.
The 6-foot-7 Thornton was diagnosed with a severely sprained left ankle after jumping in the air to bump chests with a teammate and accidently falling on a basketball during warm-ups last Friday. Thornton hobbled around to score Westlake’s first basket, then sat out the remainder the Class AAAAA state championship loss to Milton.
“I’m definitely still very frustrated,” Thornton told the AJC. “I was looking forward to one of the biggest moments of my life, and I couldn’t play. There’s nothing I can do about it now, and I’m trying to move forward, but it’s hard.”
Thornton returned to school with a walking boot and crutches. He was examined by doctors on Monday, and has at least a high-ankle sprain. Thornton will undergo an MRI later this week to see if there are any torn ligaments.
It was a big blow for Westlake, as Thornton averaged 24 points per game. He is considered perhaps the state’s top senior basketball prospect, and has signed with Clemson. He talked with Clemson coach Oliver Purnell over the weekend.
“Clemson’s coaches are trying be supportive and encouraging,” Thornton said. “They are looking forward to me getting better for next year. My ankle is still swollen, but I’m going to begin (rehabilitation) as soon it goes down, depending on the outcome of the MRI.”
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