Sophomore guard Gabe Colosimo, a member of the SPU men’s basketball team, returned to school early last September feeling prepared and motivated for a new year of playing the sport he loves so dearly.
The Falcons were going to be led by a new coaching staff and had finished the previous season strongly, so Colosimo was excited for the opportunities that lay before him.
Little did the 20-year-old Utah native know that his sophomore year would not shape up to look like anything he had anticipated.
During the Falcons’ first open gym of the new season, Colosimo drove the baseline, just like he had done hundreds of times since he’d began playing.
But this drive toward the basket was different and resulted in a heartbreaking injury that would rule the second-year guard out for the entire season.
“I was driving baseline, and as I decelerated to turn and throw a pass, my knee twisted and I tore my right ACL and the lateral meniscus in my right knee,” Colosimo said.
Colosimo knows injuries in sports are somewhat inevitable, but an ACL injury, which is the tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee, an essential ligament for full knee function, is very significant, requiring surgery and nine to 12 months of rehabilitation. That, he did not anticipate.
“I am on the latter half of my recovery now,” Colosimo said. “It is easy to say that it was not terrible, but I would be lying if I said the first few months were without challenges.”
Colosimo would consider this injury, along with all the work he has put in emotionally and physically to strengthen his body again, to be one of the hardest things he has ever done.
However, over the past nine months, he has been able to look back on his experience with a somewhat positive perspective.
“I have lived a pretty charmed life, so to say that an ACL is one of the toughest things I’ve had to go through makes me extremely lucky,” Colosimo said.
This positive outlook has allowed Colosimo to grow as a person this year despite his situation, which can be draining and notably discouraging at times.
“I have always believed that if you pray to God for something, he does not automatically give it to you,” Colosimo said. “Instead, he gives you opportunities to grow in what you prayed for.”
And this was Colosimo’s opportunity.
“This experience has taught me to control the controllables,” Colosimo said. “I originally would get caught up in things that I cannot control. I have learned not to worry about what is out of my control, rather, to put my energy toward putting my best foot forward.”
If it weren’t for another surgery four weeks ago to remove an osteochondroma growth on his medial femur, Colosimo would have been able to be back playing and practicing with his teammates. Until then, he is working on his strength and endurance during the concluding three weeks of his rehab.
“He was working really hard to prepare for this year and it got taken away from him,” sophomore guard Conner VanDyken said. “But now he is working just as hard at rehab, and he’s going to be really prepared for next season.”
Colosimo is looking forward to being back on the court with his teammates and making memories that will last a lifetime when the Falcons begin their season again in September.
“I missed grinding out games with my boys this year,” Colosimo said. “There is a special bond that is built when you are struggling or succeeding with your teammates.”
He will recommence his sophomore season after redshirting due to the injury, and the Falcons will be buoyed by his much-anticipated return.