Chet Holmgren was a top prospect to be drafted into the NBA for quite some time.
He had an amazing high school career that ended up with him winning the Gatorade National Player of the Year Award and being the No. 1 recruit in his draft class. After an impressive year at college basketball powerhouse Gonzaga, Holmgren declared for the 2022 NBA Draft and was drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder with the second pick.
However, after what was a dominant Summer League outing Holmgren where he proved many doubters wrong, the rookie forward would then end up suffering torn ligaments in his foot after competing in an off-season Pro-Am game. To make matters worse, this Lisfranc injury will keep Holmgren out for the entire 2022-2023 NBA season.
In his first appearance talking to reporters since the injury, per Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman, Holmgren said that he had spoken to NBA superstar Joel Embiid who told him the following.
“It’s always great to look at something, knowing it’s been done before,” Holmgren told reporters. “Even if it wasn’t (done before), I was going to put my hard hat on and get to work.”
Holmgren also pointed out that he is familiar with the stories of Ben Simmons and Blake Griffin, who are two other NBA stars who lost out on their rookie seasons due to injury as well. When asked about how his rehabilitation process was going, Holmgren said he’s “studied (his) body a lot” and that he’s “taking those proper steps to prevent injuries as well.”
“I try to take steps every single day to put my body in the best position for the best possible health on and off the court,” Holmgren said. “I’ve studied my body a lot, along with people here on the medical staff. We’re taking those proper steps to prevent injuries as well.”
Holmgren also responded to those who criticize NBA players for playing in the Pro-Am games saying “At the end of the day, basketball players are going to play basketball,”
“It’s just kind of like; you’ve got to feed the love for the game,” Holmgren said. “I don’t want an injury like this to take away from that. I’m always going to have a love for basketball, so I’m always taking advantage of opportunities to play basketball. Just gotta make sure that you do it right and you’re able to kind of avoid things like this.”
Only time will tell how Holmgren will fit into OKC’s rotation, but whenever he does set foot on a basketball court again, the basketball world is in for a real treat!