Jazz Rookie Azubuike Suffers Gruesome Ankle Injury
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz first-round pick Udoka Azubuike suffered a gruesome ankle injury in his G League debut with the Salt Lake City Stars. Despite the scary fall, the team indicated it was a severely sprained ankle, and that Azubuike will sit out indefinitely.
The Jazz center attempted a hook shot against the Erie Bayhawks with 2:33 remaining in the fourth quarter and came down awkwardly on the defender’s foot.
Azubuike immediately fell to the grown screaming and clutching the injury while players on the court and on the Bayhawks bench turned away in horror.
Warning, the video in the tweet below depicts a graphic injury.
Azubuike had 8 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks in 28 minutes for the @slcstars in his G-League debut before leaving with an ankle injury in the final 3 minutes of the game.#TakeNote l @KSLSports pic.twitter.com/VFXrPMihI3
— Sam Farnsworth (@Samsworth_KSL) February 10, 2021
Azubuike had played well for the Stars before the injury scoring eight points and grabbing 11 rebounds in his debut. The Stars affiliate was trailing 112-96 at the time of the injury.
The G League season is being held at The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando where the NBA completed its 2019-20 regular and postseason. In total, 18 teams traveled to Florida to compete.
The Stars are scheduled to compete in 15 regular-season games after which the top eight teams in the league will advance to a single-elimination postseason tournament.
The Jazz had high hopes for Azubuike after selecting him with the 27th pick in November’s NBA draft. The four-year Kansas star was a Consensus All-American in college, was named the Big-12 Player of the year as a senior, was a two-time member of the All-Big-12 team, and a member of the Big-12 All-Defensive team.
Dok Dunk 💪 pic.twitter.com/1Jkmyfbvmb
— Salt Lake City Stars (@slcstars) February 10, 2021
The injury is a major setback for the rookie who struggled to find time with the Jazz. The 21-year-old averaged 1.0 points, 1.1 rebounds, and 0.3 blocks in 12 appearances with the team this season.
“Competition is essential to players getting better,” Snyder said of Azubuike on Tuesday. “That’s the biggest thing for us, whether Dok is in the [G] League or in practice.”
Azubuike will remain in Orlando before returning to Utah.
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