Bol Bol was not just visiting his teammates when he arrived for Oregon’s 81-60 win over USC on Saturday.
The 7-foot-2 freshman, who announced his college career was over following season-ending foot surgery, has enrolled in classes at UO for winter term and will stay with the Ducks as he rehabilitates his injury and prepares for an early entry into the NBA Draft.
Bol was using a scooter to get around before Oregon faced the Trojans and sat on the bench during the game.
“He wants to be here,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said on Tuesday. “As long as he takes care of his academic responsibilities, it is going to be a little tough getting around on a scooter. He’s a wonderful young man who just wants to be here with the guys. I want him here. He picks up the team. He’s always bouncing around and positive with the guys, telling them to play harder. So I like having him around.”
Bol led the Ducks with 21.0 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in nine games before suffering a broken foot. He was away from the team while getting multiple doctors’ opinions on his injury before having surgery two weeks ago.
Bol was one of the reasons why ESPN picked Oregon’s game at Arizona on Thursday for a national telecast, but it will instead mark Oregon’s eighth game without him. Bol was considering the Wildcats before signing with the Ducks.
“That would be no different than Lauri Markkanen or DeAndre Ayton having season-ending surgery,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said, referring to recent Top-10 NBA picks who played for the Wildcats. “We don’t want that for Oregon. We don’t want that for the Pac-12 and we certainly don’t want that for Bol. He’s a terrific young man and really an outstanding and unique player. Because of his uniqueness, if you are the coach at Oregon, it is going to take a little bit of time to reinvent yourself and go away a little bit from the size and skill that a guy like that brings.”