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Tom Mix, Published August 18 2012

Spartans' Syverson saw his senior year come to a sudden halt after torn ACL

Fargo

The clock had wound down to the game’s final two minutes. Fargo North’s boys basketball team was in the process of closing out a home victory over Wahpeton.

North senior Brady Syverson had been in that same situation countless times before. His job was to help the Spartans outlast their opponent, but something happened in those waning minutes on Feb. 7 that was unlike anything the 6-foot-5 forward had ever experienced on a basketball court.

The Spartans held on for a 64-56 victory over the Huskies, but they lost their leading scorer – Syverson – as a result of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Syverson would be out the rest of the season.

Those final two minutes are still fresh in Syverson’s mind months later.

“They were pressuring us full court and I got the ball on an inbounds play,” Syverson said. “I brought the ball up and crossed over at half court. A player tried to come and steal it from me. I stopped hard and overextended my knee. I just fell down right there.”

North head coach Dan Shultis remembers the play.

“It happened in front of me, but it was one of those things where I was looking to the next thing he was going to do,” Shultis said. “I just remember my assistant coach saying ‘ohhh’ and you just knew that it wasn’t good.”

Syverson was down, but he was able to walk to North’s bench on his own. At that point he wasn’t even thinking the worst and was actually hopeful he could return to the game.

He got some attention on the bench and walked to the scorer’s table to check back in. Little did he know his ACL was already torn and his senior year would be cut short.

“It caught me off guard,” Syverson said of the injury. “After that play when I fell down, I came out for a quick series. I had the trainer look at it and I told her where the pain was. She didn’t think it was my ACL either so I went back in the game. A couple of plays later I tried to cut with the basketball off my knee, but it just gave out.”

Syverson’s return to the game lasted all of 20 seconds.

“He looked at me and tapped himself to come out,” Shultis said.

Even at that moment, Syverson wasn’t sure what was wrong. There wasn’t a lot of pain, so there wasn’t a need to automatically think the three letters many athletes dread – ACL. Following the game, Syverson underwent an MRI that confirmed the worst. He had torn his ACL.

In a flash, his prep basketball career had come to abrupt halt. It was something that was hard to accept.

“I just thought I had overextended my knee after the game,” Syverson said. “I didn’t think my ACL was torn. When I got the MRI I was kind of shocked.”

Syverson was shut down after just 15 games. He finished his senior year averaging 19.9 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per game.

North was 1-3 in the final four regular season games without Syverson.

Syverson’s basketball future was put on hold for knee surgery and months of rehabilitation.

His surgery was successful and Syverson – who is committed to play basketball at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton – has since completed the initial phases of rehab and moved on to more basketball-focused rehab sessions.

“I was disappointed,” Syverson said. “But I never thought that ‘I’m done or I’m not going to play basketball anymore.’ I just wanted to keep going and get back to where I can play again. That’s my ultimate goal is to keep playing.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562