Austin Freeman at Wednesday's practice (AP)
March 18, 2010
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Georgetown guard Austin Freeman has changed his diet and now regularly checks his blood sugar since he's been diagnosed with diabetes.
He's also become an inspiration.
Fans, friends and others with the disease have reached out via letters, e-mail or a kind word to support Freeman and let him know how much they're rooting for him.
"Just knowing that I have people out there that support me and care, it just keeps me going," Freeman said.
Freeman has kept the Hoyas going and has them playing some of their best basketball of the season as they enter the NCAA tournament. They won three games in the Big East tournament before falling to West Virginia 60-58 in the title game.
The hot streak helped catapult the Hoyas (23-10) into the No. 3 seed in the Midwest Regional. They play Mid-American Conference tournament champion Ohio (21-14), a 14 seed in the tourney for the first time since 2005.
Asked what he knew about the Bobcats, center Greg Monroe said, "They won a conference championship. They're here."
The Hoyas will try to end Ohio's ride into March on Thursday, and Freeman could play a big role. He was thought to have a stomach virus when he missed a game March 1 against West Virginia. He did not start and his minutes were limited in the previous game.
It turned out to be much more serious than a stomach bug.
Freeman, a junior guard, had diabetes and the whole way he approached basketball was about to change. He checks his blood sugar before, during and after every practice. As a precaution, a doctor from the university's hospital is attending Freeman's practices and games for the rest of the season.
It's not easy or convenient, but he has no choice.
"It's a little change, but I've gotten used to it," Freeman said. "I have to, if I want to keep playing."
Coach John Thompson III keeps an eye on Freeman at practice. As long as Freeman's blood sugars are monitored, he'll be able to play.
Once he returned to the lineup, Freeman played like there was nothing wrong with him. He was a second-team All Big East selection and led the Hoyas with 16.7 points - 19.5 in conference games. He averaged 15.2 points and is shooting 46.8 percent from the floor since he was diagnosed.
Lakers forward Adam Morrison and Bears quarterback Jay Cutler are among the athletes with diabetes who Freeman has attempted to contact.
Ohio faces a tall task against Georgetown, but history shows the program shouldn't be taken lightly. The Bobcats put a scare into eventual national champion Florida before losing 67-62 a few years ago.
Ohio was given little chance of winning the MAC title when the tournament began, then capped a stunning run with an overtime win against defending champion Akron to earn the league's automatic bid.
So the Bobcats are full of surprises.
"Every time our guys take the court, they have that belief," Ohio coach John Groce said.
Groce led Ohio to the tournament in his second season after he was Ohio State coach Thad Matta's top assistant. He had been the top assistant under Ohio State coach Thad Matta for the past four years. He also worked under Matta at Xavier University and at Butler University.
Groce said there are differences from the way Thompson constructed this year's Hoyas compared to the one Ohio State beat in the Final Four in 2007.
"He's certainly made some adaptations that really fit his personnel and make them difficult to defend," he said.
Especially difficult to stop are the trio of Freeman, Monroe and Chris Wright. They've scored 1,554 points, or, 64 percent of Georgetown's total this season. Georgetown's 49.8-percent shooting from the floor was fourth nationally.
And they've done it all without a single senior on the roster.
"Things just seem to be working," Thompson said. "That's hard to say when your last game is a loss. But leading up to that, I think we're at a good place right now."
Georgetown Falls Short, Loses to No. 10 Kansas,...
Georgetown fought back and forth with No. 10 Kansas in a game featuring seven ties and seven lead...
Georgetown Hosts No. 10 Kansas at Verizon...
The Georgetown University men's basketball team met with the media on Tuesday afternoon and held ...
Five in Double Figures as Georgetown Tops...
Five players scored in double figures and Georgetown hit more than half of its field goals en...
Georgetown Returns Home to Play Towson on...
Following three games in the Bahamas as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis and a week off, the...
Jabril Trawick Selected as Nominee for NABC...
Georgetown University senior men's basketball player Jabril Trawick (Philadelphia, Pa./Abington...
Georgetown Men's Basketball Team Takes Part in ...
Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III, along with junior center Bradley Hayes and freshman...
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera Named to BIG EAST Weekly...
Georgetown junior guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central/Oak Hill) was...
Georgetown Falls to Butler in Battle 4 Atlantis...
Georgetown trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half, but fought back to tie the game...
DOWNLOAD SCHEDULE: Add to calendar
Saturday, Dec 20 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Basketball Charlotte 12:00 PM Fox Sports Network Saturday, Dec 27 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Basketball vs Indiana 12:00 PM ESPN2 Wednesday, Dec 31 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Basketball at Xavier 10:00 PM Fox Sports 1 Saturday, Jan 3 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Basketball Creighton 4:30 PM Fox Sports 1 Tuesday, Jan 6 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Basketball Marquette 7:00 PM Fox Sports 1 Saturday, Jan 10 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Basketball at Providence 12:00 PM Fox Sports 1 Tuesday, Jan 13 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Basketball at DePaul 9:00 PM Fox Sports 1 Saturday, Jan 17 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Basketball Butler 5:00 PM Fox Sports 1 Monday, Jan 19 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Basketball Villanova 9:00 PM Fox Sports 1 Saturday, Jan 24 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Basketball at Marquette 2:30 PM Fox Sports 1 Tuesday, Jan 27 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Basketball Xavier 7:00 PM Fox Sports 1 Saturday, Jan 31 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Basketball at Creighton 2:00 PM CBS Sports Network Wednesday, Feb 4 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Basketball Providence 9:00 PM CBS Sports Network Saturday, Feb 7 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Basketball at Villanova 2:00 PM FOX Tuesday, Feb 10 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Basketball at Seton Hall 7:00 PM Fox Sports 1 Tuesday, Feb 17 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Basketball St. John's 7:00 PM Fox Sports 1
- Online Stores & Tickets