Giant George has part of foot amputed
ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (Ticker)—UNC Asheville center Kenny George had to undergo a partial amputation of his right foot due to a serious infection, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported on Friday.
At 7-7 and 370 pounds, George contracted the infection during Pete Newell’s famous Big Man Camp in Las Vegas over the summer. According to the report, the senior underwent at least two surgeries and other procedures to fight the infection. It is unknown when the amputation took place.
According to ESPN.com, the infection was MRSA, a potentially life-threatening staph infection that is resistant to antibiotics. MRSA is contracted from skin-to-skin contact through cuts or openings in the skin.
Although the 22-year-old’s condition is unknown, Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach hinted in a statement to the Citizen-Times that George’s playing career could be over.
“This is a really terrible setback for Kenny,” Biedenbach said. “He worked so hard to get into the situation where he could play last year and was working hard to be ready for this season.
“To have basketball taken away from him seemingly isn’t fair.”
Gaining national attention two years ago due to size, George emerged as an impact big man last year. Despite playing just under 20 minutes a game, the nation’s tallest player averaged 12.4 points and a team-leading 7.0 rebounds as the Bulldogs recorded a school-record 23 wins.
George led the nation in field-goal percentage at 69.6 percent and set a school record with 93 blocks.
While he may never play again, Biedenbach told the paper that he does expected George to return to school.
“We are looking forward to having Kenny back at UNC Asheville in the near future and finishing his education,” he said. “We look forward to watching Kenny walk across the stage and get his degree.”