Al Key planned on taking his basketball game to another level this summer, attending some camps in hopes of drawing some attention from NCAA Division-I schools.
But those summer plans have been scrapped.
Key, Barton Community College’s penetrating guard, was named the Jayhawk West Freshman of the Year, along with being an All-Region VI pick in March.
Key, who was named as a third-team NJCAA D-I All-America selection on Tuesday, suffered what was believed to be a bruised deltoid muscle late in the Cougars’ 26-7 season.
But he actually suffered a small tear in his rotator cuff, necessitating offseason surgery in late May or early June. He will return to his home in Decatur, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, after classes let out for the summer at Barton.
“I have to have surgery when I get back home,” Key said. “There’s a little tear, a torn ligament, in my rotator cuff.
“I’ll have a little surgery and be out three to five or six months. I have to be in a sling for a month and then rehab.”
Key, a 6-foot-3, 180-pounder, worked through the injury until season’s end.
Key led the team in scoring average (18.7 points), assists (164) and steals (60). He also led the team in average minutes played (34.7), and ranked second in rebounding (216)
“This was supposed to be a good summer for me,” Key said. “I put in a lot of work and planned on going to some camps, but now I have to deal with this.
“It’s a minor speed bump that I have to deal with. When I get out of the sling, I can start shooting, but I can’t have any contact or anything like that for a while. But I will be ready for next season.”