WESTERLY — Westerly High senior forward David Tiedemann will miss the first two weeks of the boys basketball season and possibly more after injuring his knee in a preseason tournament two weeks ago.
Practice started on Nov. 27 but the 6-foot-8 Tiedemann has not been on the court. The Westerly team was playing in a tournament in Taunton, Mass., when the injury occurred.
A parent of one of the players was coaching the team. High school coaches are not allowed to coach the team before practice starts.
Several Rhode Island teams played in the tournament, Westerly coach Mike Gleason said.
“The doctor didn’t think there was any tear involved, but they are waiting on a couple of different opinions,” Gleason said. “It’s still giving him trouble, and he’s receiving physical therapy. We are playing it cautious at this time.”
Gleason said Tiedemann will miss at least 10-12 days and is hopeful for an update on his condition next week.
Earlier this fall, Tiedemann announced he would be playing at Division II Assumption College next season on a scholarship.
Tiedemann averaged 16.7 points and 9.2 rebounds as a junior in his first season as starter. He scored 34 points against Pilgrim and matched that against Juanita Sanchez. He scored 20 or more points nine times last season.
Tiedemann is an effective 3-point shooter, but also has the ball-handling skills to create his own shot. During the offseason, Tiedemann played with the Project Triple Threat (Wallingford, Conn.) AAU team, and his play attracted the attention of a number of college recruiters as he raised the level of his game. Gleason said Tiedemann has made tremendous improvement from last season.
“He is a different player. He has gotten stronger. He can attack the basket much better,” Gleason said. “He was on every top-10 list for players in Rhode Island and one list had him No. 2.”
Gleason said the Bulldogs will have to adjust as the season moves along.
“You can only control what you can control. The kids have been giving a tremendous effort in practice. They realize what a significant loss David is,” Gleason said. “But we have to move on and hope for the best. We are not hanging our heads thinking the season is over.”
Gleason said Tiedemann’s absence will give other players a chance for a bigger role on the team, and the Bulldogs could be an even better squad when he returns.