Codi Miller-McIntyre had been looking forward to getting started on his senior year with the Wake Forest men’s basketball team.
But Miller-McIntyre will have to wait a while before getting on the court with the Deacons.
The Concord native will miss the first two weeks – and possibly more – of Wake Forest’s season after being injured during a preseason workout.
“I’ve been taking it well,” Miller-McIntyre said during ACC’s Operation Basketball in Charlotte on Oct. 28. “It’s one of those things where the fracture, it was going to happen regardless. So I’d much rather it happen now than in December or January or February.”
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Miller-McIntyre, who played at Northwest Cabarrus High and Concord’s cfa Academy before transferring to Hargrave Academy his senior year, underwent surgery Oct. 17 to repair a fractured left foot.
“It’s a fracture of the fifth metatarsal (bone),” said Miller-McIntyre, who attended Operation Basketball with his leg and foot in a cast, and supported by a wheeled dolly. “It happened my freshman year in high school. We thought we let it heal properly, but eight years later, it went out on me, probably because I didn’t have surgery.
“Three or four days prior, it was bugging me a lot. I’d hit it or do something and I’d say ‘Ow,’ then get back to playing. As an athlete, it’s hard to tell the difference between being sore and something actually wrong with it until something major happens, which it did.”
While Miller-McIntyre isn’t expected back in action until Wake Forest leaves for the Maui Invitational tournament in Hawaii in late November – and that may be a stretch, he admitted – the Deacons’ starting guard the past three seasons has been keeping busy at practices.
It’s also meant Miller-McIntyre has had to make some adjustments.
“I’m trying to be as vocal as I was, but I always have a hard time on how much I can say when I’m not working,” Miller-McIntyre said. “It’s weird for me to be sitting on the sidelines yelling at people what do it. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
However, Wake Forest coach Danny Manning said that the time watching the game from the sidelines will make Miller-McIntyre a better player once he returns to the court.
“I think it’s going to make Codi a little bit more of a student of the game, to be honest with you,” Manning said. “The conversations that we have during practice and after practice, he’s speaking like a coach because of what he’s seeing. I think that’s a positive for us.
“But make no mistake about it, we’re going to miss him, we’re going to miss his presence out there on the court. But he’s done a wonderful job since he’s been injured of talking to guys and being around and sharing what he’s seeing from the sideline.”
Still, Miller-McIntyre’s presence on the court is being missed by his teammates.
“Yeah, it’s a tough break for us,” said senior forward Devin Thomas, who was in the same recruit class as Miller-McIntyre. “We’re looking at the positives, though. Guys are going to have to step up for us. I’ll have to step up, being a senior leader. We’ll all have to take our games to the next level until he comes back.”
Said Manning: “We’d much rather have him out there on the court. But you know what, it’s going to give guys an opportunity to try to fill his void. We’ll get some guys some minutes that Codi would have played for us. So hopefully it’s something that we can benefit from once conference season rolls around.”
Bill Kiser is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org