Liam Hunt completes his remarkable recovery from injury for the Geraldton Buccaneers

Lachlan AllenGeraldton Guardian
Liam Hunt suffered a potentially career ending injury two years ago and has made a remarkable recovery since
Camera IconLiam Hunt suffered a potentially career ending injury two years ago and has made a remarkable recovery since Credit: Lachlan Allen

The Geraldton Buccaneers were down in the last quarter against the Mandurah Magic, Mat Wundenberg was fouled out late in the game and the Buccs turned to their bench to call on Liam Hunt.

The Buccs would go on to defeat the Magic 99-90 in overtime, with the contribution of Hunt proving crucial.

Hunt’s remarkable comeback was complete. Nearly two years since returning from a horrific, potentially career-ending injury, Hunt had taken to the court in successive NBL1 West games on the opening weekend of the season.

“I definitely felt a bit out of place in the first couple minutes running up and down, but just found my footing a little bit better in the second quarter. A bit nerve-racking, but also felt more confidence in game two against Mandurah,” he said.

On August 1, 2019 against Rockingham Flames, the 2019 WA Basketball League MVP tore his LCL and ACL and suffered severe nerve damage in his foot.

Hunt underwent three surgeries and was told by his doctors that he may never play basketball again. Despite this, he pushed on with his rehab.

“Going from hearing that you can never play again, that kind of freed up a timeline to just be like, well, I’m gonna give this a red hot go and if it happens, it happens and if it doesn’t give I’ve given it everything I’ve got,” he said.

“That’s all the matters to me at the end, but I had to give it a shot.”

At the time he hoped to play in 18 months and while it may have taken a little longer then expected, to get back on the court is a remarkable achievement.

“Just the journey, it was slow but so rewarding, you have to take the little wins my brother told me that from the start. You just gotta take your little wins as you go and there’s been a lot of them. “

While many players would have given up, Hunt was determined to give himself every chance to get back to doing what he loves.

“Honestly, I knew I would have regretted it if I didn’t give it a go. Only being 25 when it happened, giving up then would have been heartbreaking for myself, when I get a bit older in my life.

“That was also my motivation, in ten years time am I gonna regret that I didn’t try to play again? I guarantee the answer would have been yes.”

Hunt was told he could play again after completing a functional assessment in December last year.

“I asked him and dad was listening in the room, I said ‘do I have a chance to play?’ And he said, absolutely, that was the first thing that came out of his mouth.”

“I was very lucky to have the best support in the world and in my opinion two of the best surgeons in WA if not Australia, on my side.”

Coach Dayle Joseph said “for him to be able to produce what he did unexpectedly, you know, we were happy to have Liam on the team”

“We weren’t sure what that was going to mean, as far as minutes go but, when he had the opportunity, what he produced was outstanding,” he said.

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