Basketball loses Bell for season to illness

Senior guard D’Andre Bell will be out for the 2008-09 season, and may not be able to return to the court at all after it was determined that he suffers from spinal stenosis, a congenital problem which involves the narrowing of the spinal canal, which causes a compression of the spinal cord.

“It hurts not to be able to play. But I know God has a plan for me, and I need to do what is best for my future. My focus now will be on making sure I do what I need to do academically to finish up in the spring. I have to have the surgery whether I want to play again or not, so I probably will do that during winter break,” Bell said in a press release.

During an Oct. 10 workout, Bell hit his head on a teammate’s knee. After the collision, Bell began to experience numbness in his extremities. Bell was then examined by Dr. John Heller of the Emory Orthopedic and spine Center. It was determined at that time that Bell would need to undergo surgery to deal with the issue.

“We’re very disappointed for D’Andre. At the same time, however, he was fortunate to have caught this before something catastrophic happened on the court,” said men’s Head Basketball Coach Paul Hewitt in a press release.

Bell was supposed to be team captain in this upcoming season. He has started 33 games since he came to Tech. Having a .476 field goal percentage last year, Bell averaged 7.6 points per game in ACC games.

Bell scored his career high 15 in the game against Florida State last year, which also included his career high five field goals. Bell plans to graduate with a degree in Management this spring.