You will not see Mike Glover playing streetball anywhere near a blacktop court this summer for the first time in 15 years.
The 28-year-old Bronx native and former Iona College star suffered a ruptured Achilles last January, just one game into his season with Estudiantes Concordia in the top league in Argentina. It was the first major injury of his career.
Glover is healthy now, but doesn’t want to risk his future in the game on a few more games at Tri-State or Dyckman.
“It’s a big adjustment,” Glover said. “I have been playing streetball since I was 13. It’s a hard way to adjust, but I am also thinking longevity.”
He certainly looked like his old self while leading defending Nike Pro City champion TNP to its first win on July 7. The 6-foot-8 Glover scored 20 plus points and grabbed six rebounds in a win over Sean Bell. He came alive in the fourth quarter, scoring inside and attack the glass.
“I didn’t expect to come back from something that that quick,” he said.
It’s a far better feeling than what he had nearly a year and half ago. Glover was gaining traction in his pro career after a successful second season overseas playing for Hacettepe in Turkey. His opportunity in Argentina’s top league didn’t long once he felt like he was kicked in the back of foot while backpedaling in a drill and ultimately rupturing his Achilles.
“It was tough to digest,” Glover said.
He called the pain excruciating after surgery. Glover was sent home once he was cleared to fly and was forced to sit on his couch, away from basketball for the first time in his life. As tough as it was, he got throughout. He was back working out in April and went through five months of rehab.
Glover played with Villa Angela in Argentina’s second tier league last season. The year was about proving to everyone he was healthy, something he felt he did after a tentative start. Glover averaged 9.0 points and 8.5 blocks per game for a Villa Angela team that went 14-8 in the regular season.
“I found ways to get through,” he said. “Game by game I was getting very comfortable.”
Glover doesn’t want to see his momentum slowed again. It’s why he’s staying away from the concrete courts of New York City. Too much is at stake not to.
“I want to continue to play until I’m 40,” Glover he said. “In order to do that you have to stay off concrete.”