TUSCALOOSA After consultation with Alabama coaches, particularly head coach Mark Gottfried, University of Alabama senior point guard Ronald Steele, who was a 2007 preseason AP All-American and a 2006 AP All-American Honorable Mention, has decided to redshirt for the 2007-08 season for medical reasons.
“I am someone who tries to approach whatever I do with my best effort, and I know my body. At this point in time, I don’t believe I will be 100 percent by the start of practice,” said Steele who underwent arthroscopic surgeries on both his left and right knees on April 3 and a follow-up procedure on his left knee on August 23. “This is something I’ve put a lot of thought and prayer into. I want to play my best and play an entire season and know I’ve done everything I can on the court to help Alabama win.
“The doctors have told me my future for playing is good, but right now the timing for me to heal and be back in shape like I need to be to play on the level we play isn’t on my side. My teammates are out on the floor conditioning every day, getting ready for the season, and I know how important that is, and right now I’m not able to run and do all the things that they are doing. So that’s why I’ve decided to do this. Right now my plan is still to graduate in December, start taking classes toward a second degree in January and then come back next fall and have a great senior season with my team.”
Gottfried says he supports Steele’s decision.
“Ron and I have discussed this a few times and because he feels he won’t be at 100 percent this year, I completely support him and this decision,” said Alabama head basketball coach Mark Gottfried who recruited the two-time State of Alabama Mr. Basketball out of Birmingham’s John Carroll High School. “I have said many times I will not put him on the floor prior to being 100 percent, and it is my hope that Ron will return next season even better than before.”