When C.J. Gettelfinger drove the lane in the final seconds of the first half at Oak Hill Academy, scored and then crashed into the bottom of the gym wall on Dec. 15, the star point guard from Grace Christian Academy let forth a painful yell. It silenced the gym.
You could tell the injury was bad. He left the game immediately to seek medical treatment for what turned out to be a broken wrist on his right, non-shooting hand.
But as weeks passed, speculation about his possible return for the defending state-champion Rams floated about. Could he return by the end of the regular season? Maybe just before the Division II-A state tournament?
Grace Christian ruled all that out on Thursday, announcing that the Oakland signee would not return to finish off his senior season via the following statement…
“Due to the extent of his December wrist injury and the delicate healing process, CJ Gettelfinger will not be returning to the court this season. It is in his best interest to take as much time as needed to get himself to 100% as he prepares for the next stage of his career at Oakland University.
“He has had a tremendous career at Grace, where he leaves as one of the school’s all-time best players and as a State Champion. We are excited to pull for him as he moves into the college ranks next season.”
Grace Christian (18-10) is 12-7 in Gettelfinger’s absence, as Chattanooga signee and senior guard/wing Grant Ledford — a 2,000-point career scorer — has picked up the slack, along with junior post B.J. Marable and junior guard Jalen Geer.
Ledford was the Division II-A state tournament MVP last season when Grace defeated Webb 46-44 to win its first basketball state championship. Gettelfinger had 10 points and five assists in that game, as well as 21 points and 10 boards in the state semifinal win.
Grace and Webb battled five times last season, with Grace winning three times.
But without Gettelfinger this season, Grace fell to Webb 80-52 two weeks ago. The Rams have an opportunity to show better and offer hope at another postseason run on Friday, when they play at Webb (20-6).