Auburn Tigers forward and most valuable player Chuma Okeke, who suffered a torn left ACL in Auburn’s Sweet 16 win over North Carolina, was not expected to make it to the arena as his team got a first final four appearance as pain caused by the anterior cruciate ligament could not be subdued by pain medicine.
Despite this, he could not sit back home and decided to support his teammates by attending, something his teammates say was a boost to the team as they came-back to secure a win in the Elite eight.
The team were behind by five points at halftime when they got the news from coach Bruce Pearl that Okeke would be coming to the game after all. took to the court earlier Sunday afternoon with no belief that Okeke would be in attendance.
His teammates Bryce Brown said “I asked him before the game if he was going to come, Emotionally, he said I’m in too much pain to come.
We got a little confidence once we’d seen him walk in,” Brown said. “It brought a smile to all of us. We’re just happy he’s here with us to celebrate.”
After the win, the team and coaches prayed with Chuma Okeke in the middle of the circle!
Okeke had scored 20 points in Auburn’s 17-point win over the Tar Heels before he went down in a screaming heap with just over eight minutes left. MRI confirmed that he had suffered a torn ACL with Surgery set for this week.
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