Drew Bender out for state tournament with ankle injury
Pinnacle boys basketball star Drew Bender will miss the Division I state tournament with an ankle injury, he said in a text message Wednesday.
The senior forward sprained his ankle midway through the regular season and was finally getting back to 100 percent health before this setback.
Bender, who is using crutches to get around, said he’s not sure if it’s another sprain or a different injury. He is planning to see an orthopedic surgeon to get an official diagnosis.
“It’s not a break or a fracture but there’s definitely something wrong with the ligaments,” Bender said in the text message.
He is averaging 13.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game for a Pioneers team which has won 13 consecutive games and was on the short list of state title contenders. Pinnacle made the semifinals a season ago, and behind Bender and Dorian Pickens, was a popular pick to make another deep run. The Pioneers are the No. 3 seed in the tournament and will play the winner of the Vail Cienega-Avondale Westview first-round matchup on Saturday, but their title hopes are severely damaged without the services of Bender.
He is committed to play at Rice next season but said he’s bummed at missing the final portion of his high school career.
“Thought this was the year (for a title),” he said.