Fla. center Elochukwu Eze cleared to play again after undergoing brain surgery three months ago

Fla. center Elochukwu Eze cleared to play again after undergoing brain surgery three months ago

News

Fla. center Elochukwu Eze cleared to play again after undergoing brain surgery three months ago

By

Sophomore center Elochukwu Eze is cleared to return to the court after brain surgery. (Photo: CCA)

Sophomore center Elochukwu Eze is cleared to return to the court after brain surgery. (Photo: CCA)

On May 5, Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) center Elochukwu Eze underwent emergency brain surgery to remove a 5-by-5-by-4 centimeter tumor from on his brain.

The probability of a return to normalcy, let alone the basketball court, was in question with a long and grueling road to recovery ahead.

Turns out, Eze only needed 94 days to complete that road.

RELATED: The Elochukwu Eze Blog

On August 8, Eze was cleared by his oncologist to return to school and basketball.

“The oncologist asked him if he’d returned to playing basketball again,” Eze’s guardian Geoff Still said. “He looked at the oncologist and said ‘That’s up to you.’ Then the oncologist said ‘Well, then you can start playing basketball.”

Last season, Eze averaged six points and 12 rebounds a game for the Eagles. His strong play on the Under Armour circuit with the Florida Vipers this summer was drawing interest from Kansas, Stetson, Louisville, Maryland, Florida State and UAB before complications from the tumor began to affect his play.

Most of the schools have stayed in touch with Eze since his surgery.

Still said Eze was “very aggressive” in his physical therapy, working on balance coordination and even basketball related drills.

“They had him dribbling and doing drills where he’d catch the ball on one leg and things like that,” Still said. “He worked really hard.”

Doctors later learned that Eze’s tumor was cancerous, a Grade II Glioma that could possibly come back.

“Every three months he’ll have an MRI,” Still said. “He had one two weeks ago and he’ll do another one at the end of October. They’re doing a lot of research on his tumor.”

Eze will meet with a pediatrician on August 18 to “go over school forms” related to his return and after that “he’ll be running drills with his teammates.”

“I think he’s gonna start out slow,” Still said. “Probably not a lot of contact at first, but, by the time the season starts October 31, he’ll be ready to go. It’s just a testament to the kind of kid that he is. He stayed strong in his faith the whole time and now he’s back to the game he loves.”

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports