Part of the University of Louisville basketball Cardinals senior leadership team tore his anterior cruciate ligament last Friday in practice, effectively ending his roundball playing career. Shooting guard Mike Marra, who missed most of last season with ACL injury made a twisting pass and went down again according to head coach Rick Pitino.
All signs previous to that fateful Friday pointed in the direction of a healed Marra, including 2 months of individual workouts where the ACL was tested for its health. Coach Pitino told 84WHAS last week that 10 minutes into practice, the same knee blew out again. So now the senior guard with the good jump shot is gone for the season. Unless Wayne Blackshear or Luke Hancock steps out, the Cards will struggle again from the three point arc.
Last year, injuries were a way of life for the Cardinals. At any one time, Louisville was missing Marra, Rakeem Buckles (ACL, too), Jared Swopshire, Blackshear, Stephan Van Treese, Kyle Kuric and Peyton Siva. To survive all that and make it to the Final Four has to been seen as amazing.
Marra closes out his UofL career averaging 4.9 points and 1.7 rebounds per game. Arguably, his biggest impact came during his freshman season when he made 4 3-pointers en route to a Cardinal upset of then second ranked Syracuse.
Basketball life, though, is not lost for Marra. He has expressed an interest in coaching so Coach Pitino has transitioned him to the bench. This may work out as a positive move for both UofL and Marra. As the coach told him, a professional playing career is out, but he gets a head start as a graduate assistant. So when you think about it, maybe it’s not so sad after all. What coaching candidate wouldn’t want to be a GA on a top 10 team?
Photo: David L./Everystockphoto.com