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Hurt's first season of pro basketball derailed by knee injury

Matthew Hurt, who has been playing pro basketball in the G League, will miss the rest of the season after having knee surgery

Matthew Hurt declares for NBA draft
Matthew Hurt, a 2019 John Marshall graduate, is playing is first season of professional basketball after playing two seasons at Duke. Hurt was playing with the Memphis Hustle of the G League, but he recently had knee surgery and will miss the reason of the season.
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Matthew Hurt, who is playing in his first year of professional basketball, will miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury.

Hurt is playing with the Memphis Hustle of the G League, a minor-league affiliate of the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA. Hurt suffered a torn meniscus in his knee in December and he recently had surgery in Dallas.

“It’s a relatively minor procedure but they found a chondral defect which they kind of had to shave down a little bit, which is going to require him to be on crutches for a month,” said Richard Hurt, Matthew’s father. “So it’s season ending.”

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Hurt, a 6-foot-9 forward who played two seasons of college ball at Duke, had been averaging about 14 points and eight rebounds per outing in a dozen games with the Hustle.

“He was just starting to play well and the Grizzlies had been talking to him about bringing him up on a 10-day contract,” Richard Hurt said. “... It was just kind of bad timing.”

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Matthew Hurt had been trying to rehab the knee injury before deciding on surgery. The surgery was done by Dr. Daniel Cooper, who is the head team physician for the Dallas Cowboys.

“We wanted to protect his playing future, which we still think is very bright, but also his long-term future once he’s done playing basketball,” Richard Hurt said.

Richard Hurt said Matthew’s surgery was a success. After his surgery last week, Matthew spent some time in Dallas, but he has now returned to Memphis. He should be ready to start working out later in the spring and will be ready to play in the Summer League in July.

Richard Hurt said Matthew has enjoyed playing with the Memphis organization and there is a good chance he stays with the team next season.

“I think the environment and the opportunity is the right one for him,” Richard Hurt said. “We kind of lived and learned through the whole Houston Rockets experience.”

Matthew Hurt Mug.jpg
Matthew Hurt

Following the 2021 NBA draft, in which Matthew was not selected in the two rounds, he signed a two-way contract with the Rockets. But he was cut just three days before training camp was to start. With a two-way contract, a player receives a $500,000 contract and is guaranteed playing time between that NBA team and the G League affiliate of the team.

If Hurt returns to the Memphis organization, he might have an opportunity to earn a two-way contract for the 2022-23 season.

“I think going into the Summer League with the Grizzlies will be the right opportunity for him and hopefully he’ll make the most of that,” Richard Hurt said.

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———

Several area boys basketball players are on the Watch List for the annual Mr. Basketball award that goes to the state’s top senior player.

The original Watch List contains 57 seniors, including guard Eli King of Caledonia, forward Thomas Menk of Lewiston-Altura and guard Justin Wohlers of Lake City. King has already committed to Division I Iowa State and Menk has committed to Division III St. John’s University.

A number of Big Nine Conference players are also on the list. They include Jasper Hedin of Winona, Brayden Williams of Owatonna, B.J. Omot of Mankato East and Mehki Collins of Mankato West. Ahjany Lee is also on the list. Lee transferred from Byron this year to attend Totino-Grace.

The top 10 candidates for the award will be announced on Feb. 14 and the top five on March 7. The Mr. Basketball winner will be announced following the state basketball tournament.

Guy N. Limbeck is a sports writer for the Post Bulletin. His Local Notebook appears each Tuesday. He can be reached at glimbeck@postbulletin.com .

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Guy N. Limbeck is a Rochester native who has been working at a daily newspaper since 1981. He has worked at the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Guy at 507-285-7724 or glimbeck@postbulletin.com.
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