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Why I'm a Fan of Robbie Hummel

Why do I closely follow and root for a bench player in Minnesota? Robbie Hummel is currently receiving sporadic minutes for the Timberwolves but that is not the point. Robbie tore his ACL in consecutive seasons at Purdue. One ACL tear has become only a small speed bump in many athletes careers. Two, however, is a different story. The psychological impact may be the greater to overcome than the diminished athletic ability, especially when they occur so closely together. I have had the Sports Illustrated article from December 2011 hanging in my Physical Therapy gym to severity as motivation and perspective for my young patients recovering from an ACL tear. I enjoyed watching his final year at Purdue and his subsequent summer league play. I tracked his European stats online and was thrilled to see him make the Timberwolves roster this year. Watching him play this past summer I saw a player who was one step ahead of everyone else on the court even if his first step was a 1/2 step slower than it used to be. He seems to be in the right place at the right time and always moving, something that I teach my middle school basketball players to do. His current game has become a textbook for proper positioning and movement. I will continue to follow his career and root for him as I have done with several prior athletes with major knee injuries (Randy Livingston was a favorite of mine, but was much more difficult to follow "in those days").  Robbie's picture and article will continue to hang in my physical therapy gym as motivation and inspiration to all my patients to assist their recovery, both mentally and physically.

Avi K, PT