From Pullman – The Washington State men’s basketball team has had good luck with trainers and managers of late. Current SWX producer (and frequent SportsLink contributor) Neil Stover achieved a level of fame that many players would envy.
Assistant athletic trainer Nick Gallotto may be next. Find out why after the jump.
When leading scorer DaVonte Lacy suffered a rib injury at Arizona State in early January, he was told that it would be 4-6 weeks before he could play basketball again. He came back in just under a month to score 10 points in WSU’s 72-67 win over Washington on Saturday, and he says Gallotto is a big reason why.
“(He) did a great job of preparing me for this moment. He put me in the drills where it would be live action and he wasn’t going to let me play if I wasn’t ready,” Lacy said after the game. “I want to thank him because he did a great job in the rehab process and I just felt like I was ready.”
Lacy explained further on Monday, saying that Gallotto pushed him in drills that simulated the physical nature of a Pac-12 game. Athletes that suffer injuries often play tentatively when they return because they are instinctively reluctant to trust their body.
But Lacy says that wasn’t the case on Saturday.
“We would have workouts where I would be hit with a bag or I would be hit in certain places where people would probably target me or try to do something so I wouldn’t favor that area.
“(Gallotto) wanted me to go into the game 100 percent and he did a great job just preparing me for certain situations.”