FORT WAYNE – Although James Blackmon Jr. has been cleared by doctors to resume basketball activities, the Bishop Luers junior guard said he is in no hurry to return full time to the court.
I just got cleared to do everything that I want to do, Blackmon said Thursday during the Gym Rats Basketball Association National Championship at Spiece Fieldhouse. I am just taking a little time to get ready, and I dont want to rush it.
Wearing street clothes and no brace on his left knee, he watched his Spiece Indy Heat teammates beat the Illinois Wolves 66-63 in the first game of the tournament.
Thats been the hardest part for me because I want to be out there, Blackmon said. I have been rooting my teammates on, and I have been a student of the game.
The 6-foot-2 guard, the son of Bishop Luers boys basketball coach James Blackmon Sr., had surgery to repair his ACL and meniscus March 6.
The first month was probably the worst, but after that I just took off and started doing basketball workouts; stuff that is more fun for me to do, he said. I didnt lift that much before (the injury). I am lifting a lot more now, and I am getting stronger in my upper body. I have been working on my legs a lot more too. They said it was a freak accident, but my leg looks better than ever.
The Indiana University recruit averaged 24.6 points as a sophomore and 20.8 as a freshman and said he should be ready for the high school season in November.
I could basically play right now; the only thing I dont have is my lift, but I will get that back, he said.
During his recovery, Blackmon has had a chance to see his younger brother, Vijay, play and rise up the recruiting ranks. An incoming freshman at Luers, Vijay Blackmon has gotten the attention of colleges such as Purdue, Butler and Indiana.
(IU) is about ready to offer, Blackmon said of his brother. He deserves it because he puts in a lot of time. It will come out, and he will get a lot of looks because he is a good player.