Former North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall didn’t just break his wrist during his team’s NCAA tournament victory over Creighton. He fractured his elbow, too, he revealed in an interview with the IMG Basketball Academy Blog:
“My wrist is almost 100 percent. What people didn’t know is that I also fractured my elbow. That’s been the toughest thing for me to deal with, still not being able to go full contact. Hopefully, I’ll be ready to go by the Combine.”
Marshall, the pass-first sophomore who went on to win the Cousy Award, had to watch from the bench in street clothes and a wrist splint as his team beat Ohio, then ultimately lost to Kansas in the NCAA regional finals. After the season, he joined fellow UNC underclassmen Harrison Barnes and John Henson in choosing to leave school early for the NBA draft. Teammate Tyler Zeller, who graduated earlier this month, is also expected to be a first-round draft pick.
When did Marshall know he would be a pro? He told the website:
"The end of my freshman year of college. I felt like I was pretty good, but people started asking me after my freshman year if I was coming back. I was like, 'Where would I go?' It didn’t even occur to me."
In anticipation of becoming a pro, Marshall is working out at IMG academies. In the interview, he also addressed meeting President Obama, the best advice he’s ever received and playing against Duke. He had this to say about Twitter haters:
"In season, I get anywhere from 15-25 tweets per day of just pure recklessness. Keeping it PG, it’s stuff like 'You suck' and 'You can’t shoot.' Now, it’s 'You’re overrated' and 'You’re not going to get drafted high.' Even some Carolina fans come at me sideways now because I left school early. Maybe one every couple days I’ll give them a sarcastic response. You have to be able to laugh because these people don’t understand that you’re human and not on a pedestal."
Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.