Scheyer still healing from 'freak' eye injury

Former GBN star hoping to keep NBA hoop dream alive

August 10, 2010 12:30 AM

Former Glenbrook North and Duke University basketball star Jon Scheyer is literally viewing things from a different perspective these days.

Scheyer came out to support friend and former GBN teammate Zach Bulwa at his charity basketball event, the third-annual North Shore 3-on-3 Summer Showdown, to benefit pediatric cancer research Monday night in Deerfield and also talked about a serious eye injury that threatened any future he might have in basketball.

Although he was not selected in the NBA Draft in June, Scheyer had been playing with the Miami Heat’s summer league team when the eye injury occurred July 14 in Las Vegas. The 6-foot-5 guard, who helped lead Duke to a national championship in April, was poked in the eye during a game and has been unable to do much of anything since it happened.

Scheyer said he suffered an injury to the optic nerve along with a tear in the retina of his right eye.

"It was kind of a freak thing," said Scheyer, who was sporting the first pair of glasses he has ever had to wear. "I was standing on the wing and I had the ball at my side and a guy took a swipe at the ball and hit me in the eye. Now it’s a wait-and-see type thing. Doctors are saying it could take anywhere from three to six months for it to heal.

"So really, my approach now is kind of long-term in respect to waiting to see how it heals. But (doctors) have just cleared me to start doing some things, so I’m really just looking forward to that right now. I’ve never worn glasses or contacts or anything else before, so it’s a bit of an adjustment wearing them, but it’s necessary."

Scheyer said his vision was severely affected after the accidental poke, but he is now able to drive and has been given the OK to practice his shooting and do some jogging.

"It’s great to be able to do something because I’ve always been active and all this time (since the injury) I couldn’t do anything," he acknowledged. "So it’s just good to be able to do a few things.

"The vision in the right eye isn’t the greatest. It’s not really swollen or anything now on the outside where you can tell, but it’s doing OK. It’s not as good as my left right now, but I don’t expect it to be at this point and I just hope it will improve over time."

Scheyer averaged 18.2 points, 4.9 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game while helping Duke finish 35-5 in its national championship season. He also shot 88 percent from the free-throw line and hit 38 percent of his three-point attempts. Scheyer was named to the All-Final Four Team and the Wooden All-America Team, among others.

Scheyer stressed that although he is uncertain about what the future holds for his basketball career, he is determined to continue to work hard and eventually get back on the court.

"Right now, I’m just looking at getting better," he said. "Miami is still a possibility and there are a few teams out there that are interested, so I could work something out. But for the time being, I’m just completely focused on getting better and healthier."

Scheyer admitted he has thought about what it would be like to play with a squad that included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh of the Heat – and he remains optimistic.

"Oh yeah, I think a lot of people dream about it, but it’s cool to be close to the situation. They’re the best players in the world, so who wouldn’t want to play with them" Scheyer said. "Right now, I’m just, like I said, worrying about getting better and plan on getting better in time. But, if not, I’ll figure out something. There are many things I can do, but right now I just want to get better."