Injured Oklahoma City athlete gets in water to get back on basketball court

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EDMOND, Okla. – A local basketball player is working to get back on the court after an injury but learned he had to get in the water first.

Chris Crook knows how to stay positive, even in physical therapy.

In the start of his career, positivity was easy, like when the point guard won the state championship twice with Millwood and went on to play college ball.

“I went to McPherson College,” Crook said. “You’ve gotta say ‘fur.’ If you don’t, McPherson, they will be mad.”

Next up – pursuing his dream of being a professional basketball player.

But soon, that dream started to crumble, as did his health.

“I ended up tearing my ACL,” Crook recalled.

Doctors gave him two options: keep playing or surgery.

“Being the athlete I am and having the drive I’ve got, if I can play on it I can play,” Crook said. “And then August 3rd is when I tore my meniscus.”

With the possibility of playing professionally in a different country, that didn’t stop him, until he ended up tearing his cartilage, too.

“It was a low point,” Crook said.

After surgeries, he found hope in physical therapy at OU Medicine in Edmond where he found ways to keep basketball in his exercises.

“So he kind of taught me a few things too as we were working together,” said his physical therapist Lindsey Caldwell.

Crook learned something, too, in the water.

“I did not think it was going to be that hard,” he recalled.

On an aqua-treadmill, Crook was back on his feet again, running much sooner than he’d be on land.

The unique form of training helped with strength and range-of-motion.

Caldwell says Crook was ready to play again in six months – normally it takes 9-12.

“So he’s done a lot of work outside of here,” she said.

Now, he’s ready for whatever’s next.

“Never count me out,” Crook said.

While completing his rehab, Crook also completed his degree in Communications at the University of Central Oklahoma.

He’s got his sights set on playing in Europe for now.

After basketball, he’d like to pursue a career in sports broadcasting.

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