Hayden Fredrick’s comeback to basketball after a devastating injury

Hayden Fredrick is the point and shooting guard for the Saddleback Gaucho's Mens Basketball team.

Hayden Fredrick is the point and shooting guard for the Saddleback Gaucho’s Mens Basketball team.

Hayden Fredrick, point and shooting guard for the Saddleback College Gauchos basketball team, was not nervous for his reconstructive knee surgery last year. In fact, he was looking forward to this surgery because it meant that he would be able to play basketball again.

“I played in a couple games [last season] and then I tore my ACL so I had reconstructive knee surgery, and I medically redshirted,” Fredrick said.

He “worked [his] butt off in rehab” and just five months later managed to return to playing basketball.

According to eMedicine Health, “rehabilitation may take six to nine months to return to full activity,” so a five-month recovery is pretty miraculous.

“I was really looking forward to [the surgery] because I missed playing basketball. I’m just happy to be healthy,” Fredrick said.

While Fredrick is technically a college sophomore, he is only a basketball freshman because of greyshirting his first year and medically redshirting his second year. This means that he still has five full years to play college basketball.

“Being injured totally changes your perspective [on playing sports],” Fredrick said. “The doctor told me that my ACL basically exploded like a firecracker and so obviously I started crying because I didn’t think I would be able to play basketball again. I moped around for probably two days and then I just decided that I was going to do anything I could to [play basketball again].”

Fredrick not only loves basketball and other sports, but he is also very close to his family. His father “helped him to decide” to get healthy in order to play basketball after his injury and he continued to go to practice even though he couldn’t play.

“I just figured that I had made a commitment to the team and we’re like a big family, those guys are like my brothers,” said Fredrick. “I wasn’t just going to bail on them, they’re all my best friends and I could still be productive in practice. I could tell guys what I was seeing and what to look for in certain plays.”

Fredrick is definitely a team player because showing up to practice when you can’t play is not an easy thing to do. It’s hard to watch your teammates have fun and work on their athletic abilities when you can’t because you injured yourself.

“Post-surgery was brutal,” said Fredrick, but he was glad that he pushed himself to do his rehab on a daily basis in order to return to basketball full-time. “I just kept thinking about how there are people who have come back from this injury, and especially in recent years, lots of players have come back. Adrian Peterson is a professional football player and he came back better than he was before. So I just focused on what they did they gave me hope. If they could do it, I could do it.”