Prime Time League commissioner Randy Larson has been around the game of basketball for most of his life.
He’s seen too many injuries to count, but he didn’t see the injury to Iowa guard Mike Gesell happen based on what Larson witnessed on the court.
“It wasn’t a play where you notice anything,” Larson said of of the play in which Gesell broke a bone in his left hand in the second half of Thursday’s Prime Time League semifinal at the North Liberty Community Center. “He just kind of backed out of a group of players and grabbed his hand.
“He came out of the game right away and the trainers got ice on it right away.”
Gesell then was taken for an x-ray, which revealed a broken bone in his left non-shooting hand. He is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks, according to a release from the Iowa Sports Information Office.
Gesell also is expected to miss the six games that Iowa will play during its tour of England and France in August.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery was on the road recruiting Friday and unavailable for comment. But McCaffery reportedly told ESPN that Gesell would not play during the trip to England and France.
Gesell’s broken hand marks one of the few times that an Iowa player on scholarship has been injured while participating ing in the Prime Time League, which was started by Larson in 1987.
Gesell’s PTL team lost its semifinal game to a team that featured his close friend and fellow Iowa point guard Anthony Clemmons. Larson said he spoke with Clemmons shortly after the injury occurred and Clemmons also didn’t notice anything on the court to suggest that Gesell injured his hand.
“I said, `geez, I didn’t even notice anything happen and he said, `nope, me neither,’” Larson said of Clemmons. “It wasn’t any type of play where you thought, `oh, no, somebody got hurt there.’”
The 6-foot-1 Gesell started 30 of the 34 games in which he played for Iowa as a true freshman last season. He missed the final four regular-season games, and was slowed during Iowa’s march to a runner-up finish in the National Invitation Tournament because of a stress reaction in his right foot.
Gesell had shown no effects from the foot injury while playing in the PTL this summer.
The South Sioux City, Neb. native was Iowa’s third leading scorer last season with an 8.7 per-game average. He also finished third on the team in steals (40) and assists (89).
Despite missing time, Gesell still became the only Hawkeye freshman to finish with at least 285 points, 85 rebounds and 85 assists in a season.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball