July 22, 2009
QUEENS, N.Y. - St. John's head men's basketball coach Norm Roberts announced that swingman Anthony Mason Jr. was granted a medical hardship by the BIG EAST Conference on Tuesday and will officially rejoin the Red Storm men's basketball team for a redshirt senior season in 2009-10.
"I am really grateful to the BIG EAST and St. John's for granting me another year to play," said Mason Jr. "Having been out for almost the whole year, I watched and learned a lot. I can't wait to go out and perform with my team on the court this season."
"We're obviously very happy and excited to have Mason back," said Roberts. "We all felt terrible for him when he got hurt, but now he has a great opportunity to come back. He is such a versatile scorer, and his ability to be our main scorer on any given night makes our team that much deeper."
A year ago in 2008-09, after scoring six points in St. John's season-opening win over LIU (Nov. 14), Mason Jr. put forward a 24-point effort against Cornell (Nov. 17) and netted 12 points against Boston College (Nov. 18), shooting 44.4 percent from the field across the two latter contests as part of the NIT Season Tip-Off. It was announced on Nov. 21. that he would be forced to miss the rest of the season when a MRI revealed a torn peroneal tendon in his right foot, suffered during the B.C. game.
John Kennedy, M.D., of the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, performed the surgery on Dec. 15, 2008. After months of rest, recuperation, physical therapy and strength and conditioning work, Mason Jr. was cleared to return to the court for offseason voluntary workouts in early June.
An All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention selection and a first team All-Met honoree by the Metropolitan Basketball Writers' Association (MBWA) as a junior in 2007-08, Mason Jr. averaged a team-best 14.0 points per game that season and scored at a 14.0 ppg clip across three contests before his injury three games into last year's campaign. He is currently ranked sixth among St. John's all-time 3-point shooters with 109 across his 80-game career, which includes making seven shots from long-distance against Louisville on Jan. 26, 2008, to cap back-to-back 29-point games.
For the last seven months, Mason Jr.'s recovery from injury and rehabilitation from surgery was captured by a camera crew from MTV. Mason Jr. will be featured in an upcoming episode of the MTV "True Life" documentary series, titled, "True Life: I'm Rehabbing My Sports Injury." More information, including the premiere air date, will be released when available.