Wick talks about recovery from horrific leg injury

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Sports Writer

When it happened, Woodinville and Bothell were tied at 68-68 with 40 seconds left in the Dec. 20th game. Falcon forward Tony Miller snared a defensive rebound and fired an outlet pass to teammate Tommy Wick. As the crowd roared to life, Wick took off on the dribble near the right sideline. Approaching the basket, he saw that Bothell’s star center Josh Martin was the only obstacle.

"He had blocked quite a few shots that game, so I knew I couldn’t fade away and put something up," Wick recalled. "I knew I would have to drive right at him. I ended up being able to get the shot up over his hands and it went in. When I came down, I came down on the side of my foot. That’s when my leg snapped. I was in quite a bit of pain. That’s when the coaches, trainers and my dad and everyone came running down on the court."

A 25-minute delay ensued. It culminated when medics carted Wick off the court to the supportive cheers from the home crowd.

The senior point guard had suffered complete fractures of tibia and fibula. His prep career had come to a close. But Woodinville did prevail 71-70.

"I really wanted to make sure they got the win," Wick said. "It meant a lot to me, my senior year going out with a win over Bothell. We had gotten beat by them pretty good the last two years."

En route to Evergreen Hospital, the pain really hit home. The agonizing ambulance ride felt like an eternity. Wick would spend the next eight days at the hospital, with the surgery deemed a success. All the while, calls and texts flooded into his cellphone, right on through Christmas.

"My family came Christmas Eve actually, and stayed for awhile," Wick said. "We opened a couple of presents. But we decided to wait until I got home and did Christmas there. Because it didn’t feel quite right having it at the hospital."

Time passed slowly for Tommy, while at the hospital. A small TV served as a companion. Wick watched as much sports as he could, save for the countless hours he dozed in a stupor, given the heavy painkillers prescribed by doctors to ease the pain.

But while awake, visitors were welcome. These included multiple visits from Woodinville basketball coach Mark Folsom, and assistants Josh Folsom and Bob Nichol. Wick’s football coach at Woodinville, Wayne Maxwell, also dropped by for 90 minutes.

"Coach Maxwell talked to me about different injuries his players had come back from," Wick said. "He talked to me a bit about college football and baseball, because that’s my dream. And we talked about the rehab process."

Doctors have told Tommy he’ll be walking within a month, and that it will be 5-6 months before he can run again. Full recovery will anywhere from 8-12 months. Prior to his injury, Wick had his eyes on the Air Force Academy and the Naval Academy.

But his liaison officer now tells him they need to wait and see if the leg injury will disqualify him. In the meantime, Wick is also looking at Linfield College in Oregon.

When asked for his favorite memories at Woodinville, Wick was quick to answer.

"Beating Bothell for the KingCo title in baseball last year," he said. "And in football, it would have to be the Eastlake game from last year. We didn’t win, but it was the best game of my career. Even though we didn’t win, we were down at halftime and it was the best we played as a team to battle back."

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