Russo still in traction after fall

January 24, 1995|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

Hammond coach Joe Russo remains in traction at Howard County General Hospital after falling from a 16-foot ladder in the Hammond gym late Friday afternoon.

"I'm lucky I'm alive I guess," said Russo, who shattered the bone in his lower leg. "A lot of pain though."

The Golden Bears football and girls basketball coach was standing on the ladder to work on the girls basketball Line of Honor, a row of jerseys along the gym wall. He said he felt the ladder begin to slip.

"I went to dive to get [grab] the bleachers and I missed and hit my head and my chest. Then I remember I hit the ground with one leg. When I came to, I laid there for about 20 minutes, I guess, screaming before somebody found me."

No one was around because school was closed Friday, and Russo held basketball practice in the morning. A custodian finally heard Russo's calls and he was taken to Howard County General. He was admitted in good condition Friday night, said John Walker, community relations director for the hospital.

Russo's wife Karen said he not only shattered the tibia, but the force of the fall pushed it four inches up into the femur, the large bone in the upper leg. Doctors put a pin in his ankle and placed him in traction to try to pull the tibia down, said Karen Russo. She said that doctors are waiting for the swelling to go down before operating later this week.

"He's really very lucky," said Karen Russo. "Even though it was a horrible thing that happened to his leg, it could have been much worse. When he came to, he thought he was paralyzed."

She said that for her husband, a media specialist at Hammond, the adjustment to being inactive for a while will be one of the most difficult aspects of his recovery. "Joe is the most active person I know," said Karen Russo. "He practically lives at Hammond High School. I know this hurts him as much BTC psychologically as physically."

Promoting girls soccer

Louise Waxler has been elected to an at-large position on the board of directors of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

As the representative for youth girls soccer, Waxler fills one of two new seats on the board. In the past, the NSCAA has had only one at-large position for women's college soccer while there were three for men and boys -- college, high school and youth. A high school girls position also was added this year.

"With Title IX and gender equity, you are seeing all the women's programs come up in the United States. Obviously, they are recognizing that that starts at the grass- roots level, which is with the youth programs. The NSCAA is trying to reach down and bring that same level of coaching expertise to the youth level," said Waxler, director of operations for the Soccer Association of Columbia.

Which Jordan?

Centennial's Kish Jordan rolled up the kind of numbers last week that might have her mistaken for a more famous basketball-playing Jordan.

In two games, she scored 64 points and grabbed 24 rebounds. Even more impressively, the senior forward shot 26-for-33 from the field. For those without a calculator handy, that's 79 percent.

Her season-best outing came in a 60-48 upset of then-No. 15 Howard last Tuesday when she scored 33 points and missed only one of 13 shots from the field. She also hit eight of 10 free throws and grabbed 13 rebounds.

The week's performance boosted her season scoring average to 22.6, pushing Jordan to the top of the metro area scoring leaders.

Golden Bears records

Rene Hines may be only a sophomore, but she already is beginning to rewrite the Hammond girls basketball record book.

In last Tuesday's 60-55 victory over Mount Hebron, the 6-foot-1 forward set a record for most rebounds in a game, grabbing 21. The previous mark of 19 was set by April Bruce during the 1987-88 season.

Hines, who leads the Bears with a 13.7 average this season, is probably on her way to a number of career records, especially after scoring 251 points as a freshman.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.