London Lightning forward Julian Boyd tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee for the fourth time midway through the Lightning’s best season in team history last year. Boyd underwent surgery and began the rehab process once again. After a great deal of hard work and dedication, he returned on January 28, 2018 to play his first game in 10 months. We sat down with Boyd to discuss his journey…
London Lightning: How did you deal with/face this situation?
Julian Boyd: The biggest thing was staying positive. You may think ‘why did this happen to me?’… but instead, I think of it as it happened for some type of reason, and I’m going to come back and play again. Maybe I’ll get mentally stronger, and off the court it will help me grow. I handle things way differently now. My outlook on everything is better. There is a positive side to everything.
LL: How did this surgery and rehab process differ from your previous ones?
JB: One of the main things was I had never done some of the exercises or had access to some of the machines they had me using. And I did a lot more basketball hands-on things in this rehab. The difference with this surgery was they got an extra ligament to put on the outside of my knee to help relieve pressure on the ACL. That makes it stronger and less susceptible to injury.
LL: What advice would you give (young) athletes who face a serious injury or any kind of setback?
JB: Work hard to get back. When you get hurt, you can’t just sit down and think ‘okay, I’ll heal and get back.’ You have to do your part too. You’ll have people that can help you along the way, but it’s up to you to actually execute that [rehab] and put your full 100% force and effort into doing it.
LL: What type of activities and focus did your treatment have?
JB: The biggest goal was to get full strength back in the quads and hamstrings – those are the main two important muscles that help and control your knee. Also, your glutes – squats, single leg squats, a lot of hip exercises, and we focused on cardio when I was able to. You have to focus on getting back in shape during the process of getting strong too.
LL: How were you able to stay strong, positive and focused throughout the rehab process?
JB: My teammates and friends … Having good people around you can help you uplift yourself … You have a choice in life to think, ‘I’m done,’ or you have the option to say, ‘I can do this. It’s going to be a process, but I’ll be able to play again.’ Thinking about being able to play again was one of the biggest things that helped me stay strong and positive.
LL: What draws you to basketball? What do you love about it so much?
JB: I love the chemistry you get to build with your teammates … the competitiveness of the game … the feeling of being able to be free, running up and down the court … I’ve been doing it for so long, I guess I just developed a true passion and love for the game.
See Boyd and the rest of the London Lightning battle in the playoffs to defend their 2017 NBL-C Championship. Visit www.lightningbasketball.ca for more details on playoff dates and information. #GetStruck
Submitted by London Lightning