Huffor back to living his professional basketball dream

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Marco Island’s Danny Huffor looks to make a pass in a British Basketball League game. He is now playing for the Durham Wildcats after being sidelined for a year from an injury that caused ACL surgery.

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Submitted Marco Island’s Danny Huffor looks to make a pass in a British Basketball League game. He is now playing for the Durham Wildcats after being sidelined for a year from an injury that caused ACL surgery.

Submitted 
 Marco Island's Danny Huffor clamps down on a Surrey United player in a British Basketball League game. Huffor is back playing professional basketball after sitting out a year after surgery.

Photo by Submitted

Submitted Marco Island's Danny Huffor clamps down on a Surrey United player in a British Basketball League game. Huffor is back playing professional basketball after sitting out a year after surgery.

Submitted 
 Marco Island's Danny Huffor drives to the basket for his Durham Wildcats in a British Basketball League game.

Photo by Submitted

Submitted Marco Island's Danny Huffor drives to the basket for his Durham Wildcats in a British Basketball League game.

Danny Huffor is back to living his dream, playing professional basketball. At one point it was a nightmare.

In July, 2012, Huffor, a former Lely High standout, was capping off his first season in the British Basketball League by representing Team Scotland in the European Championships. In the first game he scored 17 points, grabbed eight rebounds and made five steals. Then it happened, seven minutes into the second game.

“I was going for a layup and slipped on a wet spot,” he said. “When I came down I heard my knee pop.” He had suffered a serious torn ACL injury to his left leg. Two days later he was on a flight home to Marco Island.

Miami Heat surgeon, Dr. Harlan Selesnick, performed surgery on Aug. 21, 2012.

Huffor thought he would recoup quicker, but didn’t. Selesnick decided he should take the year off.

Just before the injury his Glasgow Rocks management had said they would discuss a new contract, but that wasn’t going to happen.

Fast forwarding, Huffor’s rehabilitation was successful. Instead of the Rocks he signed with the Durham Wildcats. He spoke with the Rocks, but “I just felt this was a good fit for me and to help the team in any way I could.”

Huffor knew that the Wildcats are in a rebuilding year, but that wasn’t new for Huffor. The Rocks finished fifth in the regular season in 2011-2012, but Huffor led them to the semifinal round in the British Basketball League Championship playoffs.

The Wildcats have a losing record but have beaten the Rocks twice.

Huffor has been named MVP in five games and BBL player of the week three times.

He was hesitant at first when the season started, due to the past injury. He said he had to get mentally tough.

“I did not want to go through anything like that again,” he said. “As the season goes on I get more mentally tough and it’s really not an issue now.”

He is averaging 13 points, four rebounds and three steals a game. He is in the league’s top three for steals.

“My offense and defense comes from my confidence and I know that if I’m not having a great offensive day my defense will counter that and make up for my offensive side,” he said. “When both are clicking nothing will stop me.”

Head coach Lee Davie, in his first season, likes what he sees in Huffor.

“After seeing Danny on film and speaking to him about his desire to obtain a Master’s degree once his playing days are over, it seemed like a great fit for us both,” he said.

Davie said the team takes advantage of Huffor’s ability on and off the court.

“Danny brings a defensive toughness to the team, someone who can disrupt an offense, force deflections and steals, that allows us to get into our transition game,” said Davie.

On offense the Wildcats take advantage of Huffor’s ability to get into the lane and finish, in transition and in the half court offense, he said.

Only the third season in the BBL, Davie said Huffor’s league experience and leadership is key to the young team. Davie and the team’s goal is to win a first playoff berth in its short history.

Huffor said, “The team is playing well. I’m focused on Durham and how I can help them win and get some silverware for the club. Every day is a blessing for me playing again.”

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