» This Story:Read +| Comments

Seton Hall's Jeremy Hazell, set to face Georgetown, has new appreciation for life after gunshot wound

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
Discussion Policy
Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 18, 2011; 12:27 AM

The Georgetown Hoyas will seek to continue their bid to rebound from a subpar start to conference play Tuesday night. Across the floor at Prudential Center, meanwhile, they'll face a player who already has authored a tale of remarkable resilience.

This Story

Seton Hall senior Jeremy Hazell will be playing in his third game since returning from a pair of injuries that threatened to cut short his college basketball career: a broken wrist that required surgery in November and a gunshot wound under his arm suffered during a robbery attempt on Christmas.

"Some guys tried to rob me and take my stuff," Hazell recalled Monday in a telephone interview. "I wouldn't let them, so I started running and they started to shoot at me. I'm just happy I'm all right because it could have been worse."

The incident provided another twist in a season that hasn't unfolded anything like he had envisioned after being tabbed as a first-team Big East preseason selection and the Pirates' first three games, a sizzling stretch in which the 6-foot-5 guard from New York City averaged 24 points.

But Hazell's hopes of becoming Seton Hall's all-time leading scorer ended when he broke the scaphoid bone in his left wrist as he braced himself during a fall against Alabama on Nov. 19. When the school announced he would be sidelined four to six weeks, it was thought Hazell might ask the NCAA for a medical redshirt and return to the Pirates for the 2011-12 season, provided he did not enter the NBA draft.

Late Christmas night, though, Hazell wasn't sure he would make it another day, much less play next season. He was walking back to his Harlem home after a holiday party with a friend when they approached by four individuals. One of them pulled out a gun. As Hazell turned and ran, a bullet pierced his right armpit. Then he received an unexpected gift.

"I ran up the block and, 'Boom', an ambulance was coming down the street," he said. "It was like God was there and sent an angel to me. [The paramedics] began working on me right away. I was just blessed."

The shooting occurred after the Pirates had practiced that night in South Orange, N.J. But Hazell hadn't attended because he been excused from the team to spend a few days with his family while his wrist healed.

"I think about that all the time," Hazell said. "If I had never been hurt, I would had never gone home and this wouldn't have happened."

Instead of ending his season, however, the close call convinced him to return. His teammates needed him. The Pirates had lost eight of 13 games without their best player and captain.

"Before I got hurt, we were on a roll, we were doing great," he said. "I tried to cheer my team on. But it's really hard to watch the game from the sideline when you know you could be in there helping."

After discussing his options with his family and receiving medical clearance, Hazell rejoined the lineup Wednesday at DePaul and came off the bench to score a game-high 23 points, lifting the Pirates to a 78-67 victory that snapped a three-game losing streak. On Saturday, Hazell had a tougher time against the No. 5 Pittsburgh, which held him to nine points on 3-for-13 shooting as the Panthers clamped down on him in the 74-53 loss.


CONTINUED     1        >


» This Story:Read +| Comments

More in the Sports Section

Terps

Terrapins Insider

Get the latest updates on Maryland basketball and football.

Recruiting Insider

Recruiting Insider

Josh Barr keeps you in the loop on the local and national prep talent.

Bog

D.C. Sports Bog

Dan Steinberg gives you an inside look at all of your favorite local teams.

© 2011 The Washington Post Company

Network News

X My Profile