Division II player bitten by a shark while surfing

Jeff Eisenberg
May 29, 2012

Of all the injuries college basketball players have sustained this year, Chad Renfro's may have been the scariest.

Renfro, the leading returning scorer at Division II Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., was paddling out on his surfboard to catch a wave at a beach near his parents home in Jacksonville when he felt sharp pain in his left foot. A shark bit him with enough force to slice most of a tendon, damage a bone and require 85 stitches to close the wound.

"Immediately I knew what it was, so I just paddled back in as fast as I could — caught the next wave in," Renfro told WJXT-TV in Jacksonville.

"I was sitting there and people kept looking at me. I was trying to get someone to help me, and then one girl had walked over and I told her to call 911, and then I saw the lifeguards drive by, and so I just hollered for them and they came over."

The silver lining to the shark attack is Renfro's injuries could have been far worse. The 6-foot-4 guard expects to return to the basketball court in time for the start of next season and even hopes to get back on a surfboard as soon as possible.

Experts have said what bit Renfro was likely either a four-to-five-foot bull or lemon shark, both of which are common off the coast of Florida.

Renfro's mom joked with WJXT-TV that her son would be more likely to win the lottery than get bit by a shark while surfing. Hopefully he buys a winning ticket when he leaves the hospital because he's due for some good luck.

responsible for the majority of near- shore shark attacks

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