At times, Kellan Grady looked like one of the best shooters in Kentucky Basketball history. In February, he was even on pace to break the Kentucky single-season three-point record. In the win over Alabama on Feb. 19, Grady tied a career-high with seven threes; the rest of the season (seven games), he only made six more. Turns out he was dealing with a lot more than fans knew.
On Kentucky Sports Radio this morning, Grady opened up about his plantar fasciitis, a condition that causes pain on the bottom of the heel. Being the mature 24-year-old he is, Grady refused to pin all of his end-of-season struggles on plantar fasciitis but admitted it impacted his performance.
“It could have been. It’s not something I’ve blamed my shooting woes towards the end of the last couple of games on. It was brutal. I dealt with it all year. I found a way to go about it and try to get myself well enough for every game but I think it undoubtedly took a toll on me to a degree as the season went on.”
The best “cure” for plantar fasciitis is extended rest and treatment. Grady said he started having issues with his feet during the offseason, but when presented with the opportunity to finish his career at Kentucky, decided it was worth playing through the pain.
“No,” Grady said when asked if he ever considered not playing because of his condition. “I decided to play a fifth year. I did it at the utopia of college basketball and I wanted to be part of every game and play for this fanbase and play for my teammates.
“If it was something I could endure and go through — it was ultimately a decision I made in the fall when I decided not to take any time off and rest and see if I could get better. I had a spot to earn in the fall and that was my main focus. Getting acclimated with my teammates is what I wanted to do and once the season got rolling, it was something that I could bear, I could deal with. Like I said, it was brutal at times. Not all the time.”
In an interview with Kyle Tucker, Grady said Kentucky’s coaches and training staff were well aware of his plantar fasciitis and he received treatment for it throughout the year. Calipari even came to him in late January and asked him if it was so bad he needed to sit out, to which Grady laughed and said no. After the season ended, Grady went to New York to see a specialist, the same one who performed Kevin Durant’s Achilles tendon surgery.
“He said he’s almost never seen it for this period of time in both feet,” Grady told Tucker. “He said he didn’t know how I played this year on those feet.”
Now, Grady is doing everything he can to get back to full strength before training for the NBA Draft. Shoot ’em all, Kellan.