Alex Etherington, a 6-foot-6 small forward from Hamilton Heights High in Arcadia, Ind., gave an oral commitment Sunday to Kansas State.
Etherington, who became K-State’s first commitment in its 2013 recruiting class, is lucky to be playing basketball at all. As a sophomore, he suffered a concussion in February last year after being undercut on a breakaway dunk and was temporarily paralyzed.
“I was scared,” he told the Topeka Capital-Journal. “I’ve never been that scared in my life.”
His recuperation kept him out until July and off the AAU circuit for part of last summer.
“It was rough coming back,” he said. “Honestly, I think I came back too early. I was so out of shape. My skills were so off, and my balance was off.”
But now he’s a Wildcat and said he feels healthy. Etherington, a three-star recruit, visited Manhattan, Kan., last week and said the decision was easy.
“I liked everything — the coaches, the facilities,” he said. “The new practice facility they’re building is really nice. The campus isn’t too big, but it isn’t too small.”
Etherington said he made only one other recruiting visit on his own, but he spent time on the recruiting trail while his older brother, Austin, was choosing a school. Austin will be a sophomore at Indiana this fall.
Alex, who averaged about 23 points and seven rebounds as a junior, attracted recruiting interest from Boston College, Xavier and New Mexico.
He said his family has some history with K-State coach Bruce Weber, who recruited Etherington’s father, Brett, when Weber was an assistant at Purdue.
“I’ve heard so many good things about him,” Etherington said.