Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders have been dealt a blow this week, after hearing the news that star centre John Fraley will be out of action for the rest of the 2012/13 BBL season.
The centre suffered a knee injury in the Riders’ win over Durham Wildcats on the road, after an incident which saw the big man slip off the ball.
Later scans showed that Austin Peay graduate Fraley had in fact suffered a torn ACL, which requires surgery and a minimum six-month recovery time.
It comes as a huge blow for both Fraley and Leicester Riders, with the 6’8’’ centre having a phenomenal start to the season, which saw him named in numerous BBL Teams of the Week and average 17.4 points and 12.4 rebounds per-game.
“It’s a huge blow, as I felt that he was in with a chance of having an MVP-standard season,” said Riders head coach Rob Paternostro.
“When a player signs for a team in the BBL, it’s rare that a young big guy can make an impact on a game the way that he did, both in scoring and in rebounding.
“When John went down, we have since been experimenting with different ways to play, because he was the centrepiece of what we were doing at both ends of the floor. I still think that we are tinkering a little bit and trying to work out what is best for us, but this will give other guys the chance to get more minutes, play in different positions and, with the versatility we have, we feel that we will be able to adjust.
“However, it is going to be tough to replace a player like John Fraley – both in terms of what he meant to us on the floor and off it. He will be sorely missed. When I said goodbye to him last night, I felt bad saying goodbye; not just from a basketball standpoint, but because he is a great kid.
“To say goodbye to somebody like that, who we have all enjoyed being around and who we’ve all laughed with was sad and emotional for a lot of us.”