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January 18, 2014

Stott's maturity, perseverance prove key to comeback

With resiliency and maturity, Newburyport senior Caleb Stott found his way back to the court this season after being sidelined last year with a back injury.

“I told Caleb last year how much he was growing as a person and how mature he was,” Newburyport head coach Tom L’Italien said. “He was a great teammate and made the best out of the situation.”

Back overuse contributed to small stress fractures on each side of Stott’s vertebrae and lower back. While originally not thinking much of the pain, the condition worsened and caused him to consult with doctors.

“They put me into a white hard plastic back brace that I wore for three months,” Stott said. “It still wasn’t healed after that so I had to keep it on for another three months. Finally it healed a little and they put me into a softer fabric back brace and it allowed some support for another three months.”

His condition caused him to miss his junior basketball season, something that he didn’t take lightly.

“I was devastated and unhappy,” he said. “I knew that I had to be supportive of my teammates and contribute to the team even though I couldn’t play. I just had to be there for support and encourage everyone and help the team as much as I could.”

He didn’t miss a practice.

“He was there every day,” L’Italien said. “Those are things that you can’t put into words but I think that was and is appreciated by the team. If at any point someone is going to feel bad about their playing time or a tough loss they look at him. He couldn’t do it on the court last year, but off the court he was there for us in so many ways.”

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