GMC Hoops Awards–Comeback Player of the Year

South Amboy’s Reagan Battles Knee Injuries to Get on the Court

South Amboy’s Nick Reagan fires up a shot over Perth Amboy Tech’s Javon Fisher in a Gold Division Clash on February 5th in South Amboy. Reagan overcame knee injuries the past two seasons to get himself on the court and earn the 2016 GMC Hoops Comeback Player of the Year.

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–The 2015-16 South Amboy Guvs suffered through a range of emotions in an up and down season that finished at 11-15 after losing to Henry Hudson in the opening round of the Central Jersey Group 1 State Playoffs. There was a great deal of potential with this year’s Guvs after nearly knocking off Sayreville in the opening weekend of the campaign.

Instead South Amboy was unable to live up to expectations. However, there was one bright spot through all the twists and turns of this roller coaster season. It was senior Nick Reagan. Experiencing a knee injury last season, Reagan managed to battle his way back into the lineup again this year, and scrapped with Sayreville big man, Jahsim Floyd in the nightcap game of the Friends of South Amboy Showcase on day two of the 2015-16 season.

Reagan fought tooth and nail with Floyd, and helped limit the talented Sayreville junior to three points before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Former teammate, Ryan O’Leary scored just before the buzzer to lift Sayreville to victory. Reagan finished with 8 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals in the contest. After playing in 21 of his team’s 27 games in an injury shortened season last year, Reagan appeared to be well on his way back. Like his team though, he would experience disappointment.

In a game against Piscataway Tech on January 2nd, he suffered another knee injury. Originally thought to be much worse, the injury turned out to only be a minor tear. The prognosis for the knee, which was the same one that surgery was performed on last year, was promising with him possibly returning by the end of the year. Two weeks later, Reagan returned to the lineup against South River in front of a passionate crowd in South Amboy. He battled his way back with limited quality minutes, but South River pulled away in the second half for the win.

The loss was the start of a tailspin for the Guvs as they would lose 6 of 9 games to go from 7-5 on January 20th to 10-11 on the eve of the GMCT Seeding Meeting on February 12th. Through it all though, Reagan hung in there, and continued to help where ever and whenever he could. When he was in the game, the Guvs had stability on offense. They ran good sets, which resulted in part from Reagan’s calming influence. South Amboy would win its GMCT Play-In round game over Wardlaw as Reagan collected 5 points.

In the Guvs final game of the season against Henry Hudson, Reagan scored 11 points on 3 field goals, a three pointer, and two free throws. Reagan played in 17 of South Amboy’s 26 games this season, and connected on 24 field goals, 5 three pointers, and 19 free throws for 88 points, or 5.2 points per game. However, it is not the points that are important here, but the fact that Reagan battled through all of his adversity to get back on the basketball court, and earn the 2016 GMC Hoops Comeback Player of the Year.