NORMAN — For the first time since being shot May 27, Oklahoma basketball player Isaiah Cousins talked about the situation for a story on SoonerSports.com.
While visiting his hometown of Mount Vernon, N.Y., Cousins and two friends were talking as he walked to get a shirt from a friend when shots rang out.
Cousins and his friends took off running before Cousins thought he was grazed by the bullet.
After getting two blocks away, though, it became clear the situation was more severe.
“I think I got hit,” Cousins told his friend before he went to the hospital.
Neither Cousins nor the friends he was with were involved in the gangs that precipitated the shooting.
The injury didn’t require surgery, and Cousins was out of the hospital and recovering at home the next day.
He returned to Norman on June 8 and has started doing some limited basketball work, participating in shooting and dribbling drills as well as some weight exercises.
“It’s healing pretty good and the hole is closing up,” Cousins said. “The arm is just a little stiff.”
The bullet remains in his left shoulder.
Team physician Brick Schnebel talked to Cousins’ doctors in New York, and Cousins went through medical tests when he returned to Norman a week ago.
“Taking it out could actually be more traumatic than it going in,” OU athletic trainer Alex Brown told the site. “There’s a chance other problems could occur if you go exploring to pull it out. Where it is, it’s in a nice, safe place.”
Right now, it’s just a matter of waiting for Cousins to complete the healing process.
“There’s not a lot of rehab to do with that (injury),” Brown said. “We just want Mother Nature to kind of do her thing. The hard part is just the sitting and not being able to do everything he’d like to be doing at the moment.”
Brown said Cousins could be fully cleared in a week or less barring a setback.
“We’re getting close to that point,” Brown said.
Cousins averaged 11 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists for the Sooners as a sophomore last season, starting every game.
As the year went on, Cousins became an even bigger contributor.
He averaged 14.4 points in the last five games and scored 17 or more points in five of the last 10. Cousins also was one of the Sooners’ best perimeter defenders.
While Cousins doesn’t want to talk much about the incident, Sooners assistant coach Lew Hill, who is also from Mount Vernon, said the junior-to-be knows how fortunate he was to escape with only minor injuries.
“He understands,” Hill told the site. “The first thing he said to me is, ‘I was lucky.’ That was our conversation on the phone. I said, ‘Yeah, you were real lucky. A few inches to the right or a few inches down or up, we’re having a different conversation.”