January 18, 2013

McClinton looks to come back strong

Wake Forest signee Greg McClinton encountered a roadblock when he tore his ACL Hargrave's 65-38 win over Chatham Thursday, Jan. 10.

"I went up and dunked and landed completely wrong and that's when it happened," McClinton said. "I went up off my left leg to dunk, and I guess I tried to land with my right leg. I don't really know what happened. I just remember going up to dunk, and I just came down completely wrong. I came down on my right leg by itself, and I guess when it came down it kind of twisted."

"When it first happened it kind of got to me a little bit, but I'm not depressed. I'm not worried about it. It's not going to determine my future. I just got to get through it. After I have this surgery in about three or four weeks, do my rehab and I'll be back stronger. I'm not worried about it."

McClinton, a local product, returned home following his season-ending injury and will finish the rest of his senior year at Winston-Salem (NC) Prep, which will provide him the support of family and friends during his road to recovery.

"During the Boston College game (Saturday, Jan. 12) I talked to Dr. [David] Martin," McClinton said. "He's going to do my surgery and Coach [Jeff] Bzdelik talked to me about doing it, so I kind of decided after that that I was going to transfer back."

"It's good to be back home, but I wouldn't trade being home with this injury. If I could not have had this injury and still be at Hargrave I would do it in a heartbeat. It's not something that I wanted to go through right now, but everything happens for a reason."

The 6-foot-6 and 185-pound small forward added he will probably play basketball again in about six months, and will feel normal in about nine to 10 months.

He said Wake's coaching staff has discussed redshirting with him, and he does not plan to.

"When I get there I'm just going to do whatever Coach [Bzdelik] needs me to do to help out," McClinton said. "I'm not trying to come in and try to take over. I'm just going to come in and play my role and do what I can to help the team."

McClinton, who has known Rusty LaRue since playing under him at Forsyth Country Day, called the Wake Forest assistant the same night after he sustained the injury.

"He helped me set up all of the meetings and appointments with the MRI and meeting with the Doctor," McClinton said. "I've just been talking to him ever since about it, and he's been telling me everything is going to be alright and I'm going to come back stronger."

"It's going to teach me how to go through adversity. [It's] another hurdle in my life, in my journey, and I just got to get through it."

McClinton, who is rated as a three-star recruit, the nation's No. 23 small forward and the No. 128 prospect overall by Rivals.com, was averaging 19 points and 13 rebounds per game before his senior season was brought to a screeching hault.

"It [Hargrave] was a great experience," McClinton said. "I built a lot of friendships there. I wouldn't knock the school. I feel like if I had to decide to stay or go again I would still leave. It was a great move. I learned a lot of things, and met a lot of new people."

"[My greatest takeaways from Hargrave were] just the simple things of being through life as Coach [A.W.] Hamilton would say make sure your shirt is tucked in, yes sir, no sir, [and] being on time."

He will provide Wake with another athletic wing player following his recovery.

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