Oakland stars have recent surgery

With practice about a month away, it’s possible the Oakland Men’s Basketball team could be without two of their biggest stars.

Guard Reggie Hamilton and forward Drew Valentine both had recent surgery, which could put them out for a significant amount of time.

Hamilton, who was named to the All-Summit League first team last year, had a lump removed from his chest by his hometown doctor in Chicago.

“Reggie had a lump on his chest and basically there’s a history of breast cancer in his family and they didn’t want to take any chances,” Greg Kampe, OU head coach said. “He had the surgery, if everything’s good, which they think it is, he’ll be out three weeks, if everything’s bad then they’ll take the next step, they think everything’s great, but you never know, they go in and they take a look at it.”

Valentine, who stepped up in place of Blake Cushingberry when he went out with an injury last year, was hurt during the 10 days of recent practice in OU’s second game when he went up for a dunk.

“He got knocked to the ground and he struggled to get up, but he finished it out,” Kampe said. “About a week after that game as over, he was still experiencing pain, so he went in for a MRI and he’s got a significant tear in his knee.”

According to Kampe, a significant amount of cartilage, a little larger than a quarter, tore away from Valentine’s knee cap and there were three options to treat the injury: Remove the cartilage, sew it back up or have micro-fracture surgery which more than likely would have ended Valentine’s career.

“They did what they did and they’re hoping in six to eight weeks he’ll be okay,” Kampe said, “but it’s going to be a slow process.”

Kampe also stated doctor’s took a culture of cartilage from the knee and after his career, doctor’s will go back in and try to regrow the cartilage.

With Hamilton and Valentine out for now, Kampe is looking for an OU player to step up and become the next star.

“It is what it is, we’ve had lots of injuries over the years we’re still going to play the games,” Kampe said. “We have a lot of really good players and we expect the next  guy to step in and be the star. You hate to see it happen, but if it happens you have to continue to play the games.”

Oakland will play their first game against Spring Arbor at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 at home.