Santa Clara forward Marc Trasolini will miss the upcoming season with a torn left anterior cruciate ligament, and the Broncos lost their second-leading scorer in cruel fashion.
Trasolini, a native of Vancouver, Canada, suffered the injury while playing in front of a hometown crowd during the Broncos' exhibition loss to Trinity Western University on Tuesday. The senior came down on the leg after attempting a shot within the game's first two minutes, and was sidelined for the rest of the evening.
After meeting with doctors Wednesday, the ACL tear was confirmed.
"Obviously I am really disappointed about what happened last night," Trasolini said in a statement. "But I am trying my best to stay positive, get back on track as soon as I can and do what it takes to help the team by being a leader and supporting them. All my teammates and coaches have been really supportive and I really appreciate that. I know they will be there for me and I will be there for them. It’s pretty bad it happened here on this trip, but it’s worse I can’t play this season. It hurts. It hurts a lot. But I will get better and be back next season."
Trasolini, who averaged 12.8 points and 6.1 rebounds as a junior, is Santa Clara's lone scholarship senior on a team that was riding high from its run to the CIT championship. The Broncos were to have returned their top three scorers, but now their chances in the West Coast Conference might have been dealt a significant blow.
For Trasolini to have experienced a significant injury during a trip when hundreds of his family members and friends were expected to come see him play is difficult to imagine. Santa Clara had planned its preseason tour with the idea that the program would get him a trip home, and his family hosted the team for dinner Wednesday after receiving the bad news.
"Marc has done everything, and I mean everything right, to put himself into the position to have a great senior year and for this to happen, especially considering the circumstances, is disheartening and unfortunate," coach Kerry Keating said in a statement. "Marc did an unbelievable job of preparing himself in mind and body this spring and summer after having a terrific junior season to have an even better senior season and help lead the team to new heights, which he will have do now from the sidelines while he rehabs his injury and gets ready to have that terrific season the following year.
"Any time someone like Marc, who will graduate this spring with honors and hopefully start his MBA, has that taken away, you hope that they will have a second chance on the court and fortunately he will. We are fortunate to have access to a great medical staff that will help get him back up and running properly. We look forward to supporting him and helping give him any added strength he will need to get through the surgery and rehab. I also look forward to working with him next spring to make sure he has a terrific senior year in a year. We look forward to welcoming him back next year on the court."