Paul McCoy had his sights set on a possible NBA career until one fateful day during his sophomore year at Southern Methodist University when he went up hard for a layup, and excruciating pain shot through his right knee. He’d torn his ACL.
The past three years with multiple surgeries and endless hours in training rooms and rehabilitation facilities in a dogged attempt to heal stand in stark contrast to his high school career as a three-sport athlete in Oregon. Blessed with an explosive quickness and breathtaking body control, McCoy helped his team win the Oregon State Basketball Championship during his senior year.
Then, at a shade under six feet tall, McCoy quickly established himself as the big man at SMU, the first freshman in school history to lead his team in scoring. The game just seemed to come easy to him. But after transferring to SMC as a junior, he reinjured his knee on the second day of preseason practice and sat out the season.
Now, McCoy is finally back. As SMC cruised past San Diego on Jan. 24, the Gael Force roared for Coach Randy Bennett to put him in, and he made his first two-pointer as a Gael. “I can only control how much effort I put into it,” he said. “It’s more on Coach Bennett, having faith and trust in whatever role he gives me. I’ll do anything to stay on the court.”