With his right hand, he bounced a racquetball. With his left, Buddy Hield dribbled the basketball.
Just days after his foot surgery to repair his broken fifth metatarsal, Hield was back making noise.
Oklahoma’s freshman guard may be out of games and contact in practice for the next “four to six weeks,” but Hield sat on a bike using only his left leg to pedal and later in a chair shooting baskets.
“So what will you do these next four weeks?” the media asked the freshman from Freeport, Bahamas.
“You mean three weeks,” Hield responded.
“You’re already counting this week?” the media member asked.
“Oh, I’m going to be back quicker than y’all think,” Hield said smiling.
That wasn’t Hield’s only response that showed the freshman’s constant positive outlook. Take for instance when he crutched over to the three reporters waiting to talk to him.
“You getting used to those yet?”
Hield “No, I’m trying to get like y’all. Y’all are on two feet.”
Then he refused to sit down while he did his first interview since breaking his foot.
“How do you feel?”
Hield: “I feel good. … Just a minor setback. Buddy will come back soon though.”
He tried to come back just seconds after the break occurred during the TCU game when he followed the play by hopping the court after it.
Although he doesn’t remember the break happening, he does remembering hopping on his left foot across the hardwood.
“I wasn’t going to give up,” Hield said. “Every time (Oklahoma athletics trainer Alex Brown) told me to sit down, I told him I was going to walk it off. He said, ‘Coach, don’t let him back in.’ Then I sat down because I knew Coach wouldn’t let me back in.”
He also came back from the same injury in the same spot about five years ago when he played ball in the Bahamas. That’s when the injury, Hield said, first occurred.
“It wasn’t serious,” the freshman said. “I had like a soft cast on it. After that, the doctor said it would get sore. …The doctor said now that it heals I shouldn’t have to worry about it for the rest of my career.”
Coming back is about half of what’s on Hield’s mind. When Brown first told him he needed to get surgery, Hield said he was scared.
“I told AB no,” Hield said. “I said, ‘I’m not going to do it.’”
Less than 24 hours later, Hield had successfully completed his surgery and was donning a new black boot that he said the doctors told him he’ll wear for the next two weeks. Although he puts little to no pressure on his right foot this week, thanks to his silver crutches, Hield said the doctor and Brown said he will be able to walk next week.
As for what’s happening on the court, Hield said his team will be fine.
“Everybody’s going to pick up,” he said. “I have faith in my guys.”
Now the freshman guard trio known as “Three the Hard Way” is down to two. Je’lon Hornbeak and Isaiah Cousins will both get the start in the Sooners second conference matchup against Oklahoma State this season.
“I talked to them and said we need to pick it up more,” Hield said. “It’s ‘Two the Hard Way’ now. “
But if left up to the freshman guard, he’ll be back for March Madness.
“So you’re saying you’re going to play before the end of the season?”
“Yeah, if Coach Kruger lets me play,” Hield said smiling. “It’s up to Coach Kruger, but I’m pretty sure he’ll let me play.
“I want to go dancing with the team.”
Crutches and boot free.