After ill-fated year, Uebelhor back after injuries

By JONATHAN SAXON
jsaxon@dcherald.com

Isaac Uebelhor

FERDINAND — Last basketball season was not kind to Isaac Uebelhor. Struggles on the court aren’t necessarily the culprit, but instead Uebehlor suffered two difficult injuries that cut his season with the Forest Park Rangers to nine games.

It all started in Forest Park’s first game against Crawford County when Uebelhor jumped to make a routine basketball play, but he didn’t quite stick the landing and wound up tearing the meniscus in his right knee.

“I went up for a jump pass,” he said. “I was cutting back out and my knee just kind of went in a little bit.”

“He landed on someone else’s shoe, and his knee gave out,” Rangers coach David Welp elaborated.

Uebelhor scored nine points as he finished the game against the Wolfpack, and went on to play the next four games as well. He said he initially didn’t think anything of it, but one of his coaches noticed him moving “just one step slow.” So Uebelhor went to the doctor, where he was diagnosed with the meniscus tear.

“Isaac was very tough playing for those five games with that injury, I’m not sure how he did it,” Welp said. “He tried his best. Ultimately, it was too much, and that’s why he had to have surgery. You could tell he wasn’t as quick as he was prior to [the tear].”

After the surgery and rehab, Uebelhor returned to the team in mid-January and played another four games before suffering another set back against Southridge, this time with the left knee.

“Colson Montgomery stepped back for a three and my leg just completely gave,” Uebelhor said, describing how he tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus in his left knee. “I might have just came back a little too soon.”

Enduring another devastating injury to his wheels frustrated Uebelhor to no end. Not only would he have to go through another cycle of surgery and rehab, but now he had lost an entire season of his high school playing career.

“It was tough,” he said. “I just had to sit down and cheer my team. That’s all I could do for the rest of the year. I just put all my focus into getting back for next year.”

Uebelhor immediately looked to get back on the horse after he was cleared for physical activity. In addition to the routine prescribed by the physical therapists, Uebelhor also credits the use of his bike as a key component to working his way back into training shape.

“During the summer I rode my bike every day to the fairgrounds to work,” he said. “I lifted weights, worked on my basketball IQ, dribbling and everything.”

Uebelhor is happy to be back on the court and playing with his teammates once again, and looks forward to being a major factor for Forest Park in his senior season. The team is glad to have him back, as Uebelhor brings a lot to the court for the Rangers, both in a basketball and team-building sense.

“We play at a faster pace because he is very athletic,” Welp said. “He can do things many other guys can’t. He brings an ability to get to the rim at a high rate. He’s able to move to the open spot without the ball. If he’s got a few guys on him, he’s able to pass the ball out and find the open teammate. He brings a motivational piece to it, a sense of confidence to our team. Our guys look up to him.”

Welp said the coaches will be keeping an eye on Uebelhor and monitoring the knee to make sure he’s adjusting well to being back on the floor. But for the senior guard, it’s all systems go for a shot at the sectional title.

“I’m feeling really good,” Uebelhor said. “I’m glad I’m back out there with my teammates. I love playing with them. As the season goes, I’ll be good.”




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