UF's Wilbekin empathizes with James on dealing with cramps
Published: Friday, June 6, 2014 at 4:49 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 6, 2014 at 4:49 p.m.
Like most basketball fans throughout the country, former Florida point guard Scottie Wilbekin watched Miami Heat star LeBron James go down with cramps in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.
“I felt pretty bad because I knew it was going to be hard for him to get back in the game,” Wilbekin said.
Wilbekin can speak from experience. During UF’s 63-53 Final Four loss to Connecticut, the 6-foot-2 point guard had his own bout with leg cramps that forced him to take himself out of the game for three minutes early in the second half.
“I kind of caught it before it was too severe,” Wilbekin said. “They worked on me quite a bit on the bench. They were able to ice my legs and get me fluids.”
Wilbekin returned for the second half, but the Southeastern Conference player of the year looked hobbled at times getting up and down the court. He finished with four points and two steals on 2-of-9 shooting from the floor.
“I wouldn’t say I was 100 percent,” Wilbekin said. “I was able to play through it. The muscles were a little stiff, but that was about it.”
Wilbekin said he also had cramping issues during UF’s NCAA tournament wins over UCLA and Dayton. Against Dayton, Wilbekin scored 14 of his 23 points in the first half before cramping up in the second half.
“You can take salts, fluids, electrolyte drinks,” Wilbekin said. “But if (a cramp) happens, it’s going to happen.”
Wilbekin has been training in Boca Raton in hopes of getting picked in the NBA draft June 26. He’s had workouts for eight NBA teams, most recently with the Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks.
“Most of the feedback I’ve been getting from my agent has been pretty positive,” Wilbekin said. “My defense, teams have been impressed and on offense they think I can play point guard at (the NBA) level.”
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