There is a unique basketball fraternity that includes the likes of Thurl Bailey, Horace Grant and even Bo Outlaw, not to mention three Naismith Hall of Fame members—James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Hakeem Olajuwon—forever linked not for their talents on the hardwoods, but rather for what they wore while playing basketball.
The common thread between the members of this society is that the aforementioned players all wore goggles when taking the court.
The Citadel’s redshirt sophomore swingman Dylen Setzekorn has been fitted for goggles to protect his right eye after an injury that he sustained during a pick-up game in Rock Creek, Ga.
Setzekorn, who appeared in 28 games and scored 119 points for the Bulldogs last season, described the experience as “weird.” The Gainesville, Ga., native was looking to improve his skill set on the court this season when he ran into a little difficulty.
“I wasn’t originally going to play, but my brother (Case) was at AAU practice at a gym near my house,” explained Setzekorn. “I took him to the gym and saw people playing in a nearby practice facility. After being taunted by one of my brother’s friends, I decided to go and play in the game.”
As the final game was winding down, Dylen went to get the rebound of a loose ball when he was poked in the eye from a player who was swiping in an upward motion to knock the ball out of his hand. The opposing player’s hand missed the ball and inadvertently went into Setzekorn’s right eye.
“I got hit, dropped to my hands and knees, and after getting up I heard everyone saying ‘your eye is bleeding,’” said Setzekorn. After several minutes of getting himself readjusted, Setzekorn went to check his eye and when he looked in the mirror he “pulled his eyelid back and saw a flap of skin that had separated. I started freaking out and I couldn’t see at that point, so I thought that I was blind.”
Setzekorn made his first trip to the emergency room, where he didn’t want to be after the shock of the injury, and went home where he was sick to his stomach for much of the night. The following day he went to an eye specialist who put in 12 stitches to assist in the healing process.
Now fitted for playing goggles, similar to those of Amare Stoudemire, Setzekorn is still adjusting to life in his new paraphernalia. “It is a different feel for me playing in the goggles because with my hair long right now I am constantly wiping the sweat off of them,” describes Setzekorn.
Like anyone returning from an injury, Setzekorn has a feeling of uneasiness about the injury that he sustained. “I get nervous because I was very scared when it happened. I couldn’t see and I thought that he had hit me in the eyeball itself. It was literally only a half a centimeter from making me permanently blind in the eye, so I was very lucky.”
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