NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma forward Kevin Bookout will have
season-ending surgery on his right shoulder next week, yet another
blow during a rebuilding year for the Sooners.
Bookout, a sophomore, made the decision Friday night after
meeting with his family and team physicians.
The 6-foot-8, 265-pounder, a preseason Wooden Award candidate,
severely sprained the shoulder during an October practice and has
been hampered by the injury all season.
Bookout was averaging 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1 blocked
shot in 25.6 minutes per game, the second-most on the team. Those
figures were a huge disappointment for a player expected to ease
the Sooners through a rebuilding year.
Oklahoma has struggled to replace three seniors -- All-America
Hollis Price, Quannas White and Ebi Ere -- from a team that won the
last three Big 12 tournament titles and was a game within its
second-straight Final Four last season.
After starting off 10-0 and reaching as high as No. 6 in the AP
poll, the Sooners have lost four consecutive games -- three by more
than 20 points.
Bookout's production steadily declined during the losing streak
as he failed to score in double figures for five straight games. In
Oklahoma's 67-47 loss at Texas Tech on Monday, Bookout went
He could barely raise his right arm above his shoulder by that
Bookout, an All-American in the shot put as a freshman, will
also miss the 2004 outdoor track season.