By Josh Lowden
(San Marino) – Imagine being a star multi-sport athlete. Picture being the person the whole team, better yet, the whole school looks to when a big play is needed. Try simulating making one of the most exciting plays you can make for your team.
Now imagine getting injured while making that play. Try to picture that feeling of having to watch from the sideline, as week after week, your team loses.
If you experienced anger, depression, disappointment as well as helplessness among many other feelings, you can successfully empathize what Kwame Do (pronounced ‘dough’)went through last season.
“It was hard to watch. I practiced all spring and all summer for these nights,” said Do. “The first game I was like in tears (because) I couldn’t go out and be out there with my team.”
Do, the starting running back and safety, was injured while playing La Salle High in week two of the football season. While returning an interception he was grabbed by his left leg causing an awkward landing on his right.
“The kid came out of nowhere. I tried to make a move, but it was too late.”
He immediately knew something wasn’t right.
“I heard that pop and then it hurt a lot,” said Do. “Then all of a sudden it went away. The trainers when I said it’s okay, they like had a reaction like ‘you are in trouble,’ so I knew something was wrong.”
After multiple tests, including an MRI, it was revealed he had tore his Anterior Cruciate Ligament as well as part of his Meniscus, a season-ending injury that requires arthroscopic surgery in order to properly heal.
Do was set to have a big year. In just a game and less than three quarters, he had already amassed 413 yards, averaging over 12 yards a carry.
After losing Do, and having the turmoil within the program with Mike Mooney’s departure, the Titans lost seven consecutive games before beating Blair in the season finale to finish 3-7, second to last in the Rio Hondo League.
“There were a lot of injuries besides me,” said Do. “We probably had like eight starters out. I was just the beginning. We put in all this hard work to watch it go right down the drain.”
There was one game in particular that pained him to watch.
“To watch them on Homecoming against South Pasadena, our rivals, was just awful.”
Not only did the injury effect his football season, it forced him to also miss both the basketball and baseball seasons.
“In the summer I played three sports. Every day I was playing every single sport. Then I only got to play two weeks of football.”
Now seven months post-surgery, Do’s knee is almost all healed up. After rehabilitating his knee he says he is ready to go back full speed.
“My knee feels a lot better,” said Do. “A month ago, I would still feel it. Now, I run with a trainer and it feels like it has recovered a lot.
“I’m almost back to where I was.”
He is waiting for a special brace to come in before he returns to practice, where he will go full speed. For now, he is focusing on learning the new system that new head coach Mike Hobbie has installed.
And as for this year, Do only has one goal.
“Win. That’s all my personal goals are. Win and get a defensive strip…That’s all I want.”