By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky signee Dontaie Allen had surgery on his knee Jan. 8 at the UK hospital and has been having physical therapy three times a week since then at the hospital.
The Pendleton County senior was leading the nation in scoring at 45.7 points per game when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in his 13th game of the season. He was also averaging 14 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 3.1 blocks and 1.8 steals per game.
“Dontaie has handled everything with great poise. Initially, he was upset like any teenager would be,” Pendleton coach Keaton Belcher said. “To not be able to finish his senior year the way he wanted to has been the biggest disappointment. He is determined to conquer this setback with the work ethic that he’s always displayed.
“The last month has been difficult for myself, our staff, our team and our community. We got really spoiled watching Dontaie play basketball the last five years and it ended in the blink of an eye. He is an exceptional talent, but also an exceptional person.
“Like Dontaie, we were all emotional when we first heard the news. I have sort of told Dontaie that he can enjoy these last five months of being a regular high school student. He’s always sort of been in the spotlight and has had pressure put on him to perform. Now he can be a fan of the game and support his teammates.”
Belcher said the normal time frame for a full recovery from an ACL injury is six to 12 months.
“We are still waiting to see how his physical therapy goes. If healthy, I believe that he can be a contributor at UK (next season),” Belcher said.