Highland Community College basketball player Deang Deang's career got off to a flying start in Freeport. But he suffered a stress fracture in his shin as a sophomore.
"It was very devastating," Deang said.
After surgery, Deang's physical therapist had an idea.
"The best idea was to get him in the water where he's partially weight bearing and can perform some exercises," physical therapist John Voelz said. "And since he's a college basketball player, I want to preserve his skills."
So on Sundays in Freeport, the Cougars take to a basketball court in the pool to help an injured teammate rehabilitate for next year.
"It reflects back on the court, the unselfishness in here," Highland head coach Chad Boudreau said. "The unselfishness to come in here and help Deang in his injury. You can tell on the court it's a team that gets along. You don't have to come here at the pool to see that."
Deang appreciates the support from his teammates.
"They're my brothers," Deang said. "They're very supportive. I have a great support system here at Highland. I just love them to death. They've been nothing but amazing to me during this process."
Voelz says the treatment in the water has helped speed up Deang's recovery time. He was granted a medical redshirt, and hopes to dive right back into basketball next year, thanks to the hard work off the court and support from his teammates this year.