Antetokounmpo suffered a knee injury while playing in Greece in July and wasn't cleared for full contact until late October. At the same time, he was dealing with the death of his father, Charles.
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Casey Cathrall, Dayton's strength coach last season and now the strength coach for the Miami Hurricanes men's basketball team, looked back at Antetokounmpo's development in an interview Monday.
“Kostas definitely made some strides,” Cathrall said. “Unfortunately, with some of the things that went on during the offseason, whether it was his injury back in Greece or his father passing away, there were just a lot of setbacks. Our main goal when Kostas finally got back to Dayton was getting him healthy and getting him on the floor. He already sat out a year. We wanted to get him to a point where he could progress and contribute and have a role we could iron out with him. It’s tough coming back from an injury, and I lost my father when I was his age.”
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Antetokounmpo had to adapt to the college game as well as the daily practice grind, Cathrall said, and the travel. He didn’t travel with the team in his redshirt year.
In the end Antetokounmpo didn’t have the season he wanted, Cathrall said, but he felt Antetokounmpo was hitting his stride by the end of the year.
“He definitely matured over his time at Dayton,” Cathrall said. “I’m excited for him and the opportunity he had going forward. His best days of basketball are ahead of him if he can continue on that plan and that path. I think the biggest thing Kostas probably took away from his time in Dayton are just the habits. No matter what your goals are and where you’re trying to get in life, no matter if it’s basketball or whatever, the habits and the routine and the things that go into being a successful basketball player and person, it doesn’t change. His play toward the end of the year really showed (improvement). I think his habits got better. He got healthier. He started to understand what it takes to be successful. I think his best basketball is ahead of him. I think he’s a kid with a tremendous amount of passion for the game. I think he’s going to do big things and do Dayton proud.”