UPDATE, 10:54 p.m.: Kevin Parrom tweets: “I love all u guys thanks 4 all of ya support. Ill be ok. Just like mommy said Just another bump on the road. Ill be back stronger than ever!”
Basketball has been Kevin Parrom’s refuge. His safe place. The time when he can forgot about everything else that has happened in the last several months.
And now he won’t have that.
The Arizona Wildcats junior forward suffered a broken bone in his right foot in the first half of Saturday’s game against Washington. Surgery is needed. With nine regular-season games left, his season is over.
“Life’s not fair sometimes,” coach Sean Miller said after the loss, not yet knowing the extent of the injury. “From his perspective, it would be nice if he could just catch a break.”
A couple of hours after that, the school released the information that Parrom’s season is over.
It comes at a time when Parrom was just starting to look like Kevin Parrom again — fast, aggressive, confident — after recovering from a Sept. 24 shooting that damaged his lower right leg. The fracture was unrelated to those injuries, according to UA.
Not the kind of break Parrom was looking for.
He has dealt with the summer death of his grandmother, the shooting and then the death of his mother to cancer.
He talked last week about never considering redshirting, despite not being near full health until recently.
“I didn’t want to sit out the whole year and think about what happened,” Parrom said.
“In order to recover, I also had to recover mentally. People don’t understand that. In order to recover mentally, I wanted to play basketball I needed to play this year, whether it was good or bad.”
It has been good basketball lately.
Before Saturday night, he had 27 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists in the previous three games, increasing his minutes to just more than 20 per game. Showing his valuable all-around game, Parrom had seven points, three rebounds and two assists in 10 minutes in the first half against Washington.
He fueled a 10-0 first-half run with three points and two assists during that stretch.
Miller said he wasn’t sure exactly how Parrom suffered the injury, but that Parrom asked to come out of the game after laboring for about a minute.
His recent emergence made Arizona bigger and tougher — two things it could have used against the Huskies. Washington had 18 offensive rebounds, 12 of which came in the second half when Parrom sat.
“We missed him, no question about it,” Miller said.
This clearly is a big blow for a team that fell to 14-8 overall and 5-4 in the Pac-12 with the home loss to Washington. It’s not that Arizona is on the NCAA Tournament bubble right now; it’s that the Cats are on the bubble to be on the bubble.
Some of the hope for a late-season surge rested with Parrom’s improvement and continued larger contributions, but Arizona will have to find a way to move on without him.
He finished the season averaging 4.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.