Georges Niang returned to competition for the first time since the NCAA tournament on Sunday night.
Niang is on the YMCA Capital City Basketball League this summer, playing alongside many familiar local faces including future Cyclone Jameel McKay. In a report from the Des Moines Register, McKay thinks Niang is “100 percent” back.
"[Georges Niang] ran the floor. He baby-hooked. He grabbed one-handed rebounds.“Georges is 100 percent,” McKay said after playing a game about 500 fans watched at Valley Southwoods High School in West Des Moines. “I work out with him every day."
He certainly is. Niang blew up for 29 points and 11 rebounds and McKay saw all of it as he was on the team opposite who Niang played with.
There was no risk involved for Niang playing in this game. He said in the report that doctors fully cleared him, but obviously he wouldn’t go wild or make the wild plays to pull out a victory in a pickup game — he knows when to save that and where to use it.
Of course, there was still a little bit of drama when Niang was limping after going to the basket.
"There was one moment, however, when Iowa State fans among the crowd went silent — when Niang came up limping after missing a drive to the basket.“I just caught a Charley horse,” Niang said. “It was everyday stuff that happens in a basketball game.”"
But it’s great to see Niang perform this well already three months after his devastating injury in the first game of the NCAA tournament.
Now it’s five months and counting until the next season begins.