By Nate Beutel
Talk about a string of bad luck.
This spring, Niagara University power forward Eric Williams went under the knife to repair an injured knee that had bothered him the entire season. Tuesday, he tweaked his ankle during a workout. Then Wednesday, he ended up at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital after a weightlifting accident.
“He’s the greatest kid in the world — he doesn’t deserve this,” NU coach Joe Mihalich said.
Williams latest mishap happened while bench pressing in the school’s weight room. In the midst of lifting nearly 300 pounds, with a spotter, Williams’ hand slipped and the bar fell hard onto his chest.
With no athletic trainers or medical personnel on site because of an out-of-town convention, strength and conditioning coach Matt Diegelman — on the advice of local EMS — took Williams to Mount St. Mary’s to undergo tests.
All tests came back negative, Mihalich said.
“We were really scared there for about a half hour, but thank goodness nothing happened,” he added.
Williams is coming off a sophomore campaign where he averaged 4.1 points and 3.2 rebounds per contest in just over 17 minutes of action. The 6-foot-8, 225-pound bruiser did start 22 games and gained a reputation as a hard worker from coaches, teammates and fans.
“His hard work is going to pay off,” Mihalich said. “He played hurt all last year. We have really high hopes for him this year. He’s such a great kid. He’ll run through a wall for you. We love him.”