Knapper Cleared To Fully Participate In WVU’s Basketball Activities
The email from West Virginia’s sports information office was short and sweet.
“West Virginia University men’s basketball student-athlete Brandon Knapper has been cleared to fully participate in all basketball activities this season,” read the statement that was released Monday afternoon. “Knapper, a redshirt-freshman guard from South Charleston, West Virginia, had been sitting out certain basketball activities while some medical conditions were addressed.”
The 6-foot, 180-pound guard injured his knee prior to the start of the 2017-18 season and did not participate in any game activity, thus redshirting.
All seemed good with the knee heading in to this summer, but then Knapper experienced some issues that reportedly involved blood clots in his lungs. He continued to do strength and conditioning work over the summer while undergoing medical procedures to eliminate the clots and keep them from returning, but he was not allowed to participate in any workouts that involved contact, because of fear the clots would come loose unexpectedly.
With this release, Knapper is now able to full participate in all practices and games for the Mountaineers this coming year.
A three-time first-team Class AAA all-state selection at South Charleston High School, he averaged 28.5 points, 6.0 assists and 5.4 rounds a game his senior season. After graduating from SCHS in the spring of 2016, Knapper spent a postgrad year at Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy, where he averaged 18.0 points and 3.1 assists in his one season at the prep school.
Knapper was expected to be a major part of last year’s backcourt at WVU as a true freshman, but then the preseason knee injury took him out of the lineup and left the Mountaineers’ thin in the backcourt.
Now that he’s cleared, Knapper again figures to be a big part of West Virginia’s rotation at the guard position, if not winning a starting job outright.