About three weeks ago, Taylorsville's Jordan Edginton swiped at the ball as an opposing player was heading for the basket and going up for a layup. Edginton missed the ball, and as the player rose for the layup Edginton's hand, coming down in a swinging motion, met with the other player's knee going up for the basket.
The result, as Taylorsville coach, Ron Burnside put it, "His fingers were sideways."
Two of his fingers were badly jammed and Edginton had to leave the game. At the time he was the Warriors' leading scorer at 15 points per game. His fingers have been heavily taped and he has played since that time but he said, "It's hard to hold the ball right. I can't quite handle the ball as well."
Although the injury is on his left hand, his non-shooting hand, it has obviously affected his game as his average has dropped a couple of points. But injuries are not new to this 6-5 junior who also averages 11 rebounds a game. As an eighth grader he broke his arm early in the season causing him to miss the remainder of that season. The only good thing about that year is that was when he experienced his growth spurt of about four inches.
But the worst injury he ever experienced was not sports related. As a 7-year-old he was Christmas caroling with his family on a hay wagon when his legs were dangling over the side and his foot got caught on a piece of ice shoving it under the tire of the wagon. He was pulled under and suffered a broken leg, a bruised lung and a fractured skull.
So, all things considered, his current injury is nothing more than a nuisance. Another inconvenience is that Edginton is playing out of position. And this plight is more annoying to his coach than to him. Burnside laments that he has to play Edginton inside at the center position.
"Unfortunately he is a three (a natural small forward)," said Burnside.
The coach said that next year he will have a couple of bigger players and Edginton will move to the swing position. Burnside feels bad in fact he blames himself that Edginton is not learning the guard skills of ball handling and driving from the outside.
Burnside will lose Edginton's 11 rebounds per game next season, but he's OK with it.
"There are tradeoffs," he said. "But he can create a lot of damage being outside. It carries match up problems."
Edginton admits he would rather play at guard because he feels his best skill is shooting. And he can shoot the 3. He works on improving his skills with one-on-one matchups with his older brother Aaron, whom he looks up to.This summer he plans to work on general skills like speed and strength. He may attend a basketball camp and work on specific basketball skills also. But for now he hopes his fingers heal back to normal and he can escape the injury bug.
E-mail: [email protected]