Dontay Hampton didn't envision starting his senior season as a cheerleader on the bench. But he finally gets to return from his torn ACL tonight against the Citadel. "I just want to get out there. So I'm going to go with the flow. I've overcome a lot. I'm just happy to be back."
Hampton suffered the injury in July, and it has been all rehab ever since. "I hated the in-shape part. I felt like I was in spring training all over again. The ladders and the jumping. I come in here at night by myself. I was actually in here last night by myself. So I'm just trying to make sure I'm prepared and ready to go."
Last season, Hampton averaged only seven points a game. But Mocs coach John Shulman says Hampton brings more than numbers to the floor. "He's our leader. He's our captain."
Hampton may not be Captain America, but he is Captain Chattanooga. Said Shulman,"Dontay's dream was not to play professional basketball. His dream was to lead Chattanooga. Dontay Hampton is a great leader, but he's not a vocal leader. He's a leader by example."
Hampton will wear a brace when he hits the floor tonight, and he knows it'll be a challenge. "I had a teammate who tore his ACL, MCL, and LCL. So he told me you have to be mentally strong. And so from the start, I've just tried to be mentally ready." Added Shulman, "He just has to get in great shape, and he has to find a little trust in that leg also."