On Friday afternoon, NC State announced that center Manny Bates will miss the remainder of the season because of a shoulder injury. It doesn’t come as a surprise given the way things were trending since Tuesday night, but still the finality of it is tough to process.
“I’m heartbroken for Manny because he’s overcome so much to become the incredible player he is. He does everything the right way. He doesn’t take shortcuts. He’s a prime example of everything I want an NC State basketball player to be on and off the court. I know Manny has the work ethic and positive mental attitude to come back from this. I know he’ll come back stronger and I know Manny’s best basketball is still ahead of him.”
I feel awful for Manny and hope that Coach Keatts is right and he’ll be able to get through this setback and move forward in his career with no ill effects. It ain’t fair that a dude with such immense potential has to go through chronic injuries like this before he’s ever cashed a check as a pro.
Selfishly, I hate that I won’t get to see him suit up for NC State again because he’s been fun as hell to watch. Further, as the above-linked GoPack.com release points out, he was destined to become State’s all-time leader in career field goal percentage, as he needed only 35 more field goal attempts to qualify.
But the bigger picture is much more important, and here’s hoping that Manny still has a long professional career ahead of him.