With around nine minutes to play in the first half at Johnson Coliseum on Thursday, Jovan Blacksher Jr. was doing what Jovan Blacksher Jr. does.
The senior guard took a long outlet pass and was attacking the rim.
And then disaster struck. Blacksher Jr. went down hard, grabbing at his left leg. Some thought it was an ankle injury. Others thought it might be a knee injury.
“I remember I was trying to get a bucket on a fastbreak,” Blacksher said with a giggle. “I was going up on a transition play and about to go into score. I don’t believe I made it up. I felt a little stiff, and then I ended up on the floor with a feeling I’ve never felt before.”
It turns out it was the latter.
Per a release from the school, Jovan Blacksher Jr. tore his anterior cruciate ligament on the play, essentially ending his 2022-23 season.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Blacksher said. “I believe in that. I just feel like it’s something that’s going to open my eyes in a different perspective of life and basketball and just as a person. It’s going to make me become a better basketball player and man.”
Thursday’s game at Sam Houston was the 97th time Blacksher Jr. has started a game at GCU. In his time as a Lope, Blacksher has become a member of the 1,000-point club. Along with that, Blacksher is the Division I-era steals leader with 157.
“It’s really tough to see any player get injured, let alone a season-ending injury to a guy who has had such a big impact on our program and our school, especially in his senior year to not get a chance to perform like he wants before he graduates,” GCU head coach Bryce Drew said.
GCU is currently 11-5 overall and 2-1 in WAC play. The Lopes beat Sam Houston on the same night Blacksher suffered the season-ending injury. And two nights later, GCU came up a bit short in a 73-68 loss at SFA.
The Lopes host UT Arlington on Thursday before heading to Riverside to take on California Baptist on Saturday.