Wise Central's McAmis happy to be back in action

Kevin Mays • Jul 31, 2019 at 7:26 PM

NORTON — Isaiah McAmis is back in the game.

The Wise Central senior has been around basketball his entire life. Without a doubt, the 2018-19 season was the toughest one for him.

In September of last year, while playing football, McAmis tore the ACL in his knee.

That meant surgery to repair the tear and no football or basketball for the year.


“It just hurt,” McAmis said reflecting on not being able to finish the football season and having to sit out his entire junior year during the basketball season.

The hurt was physical, to some extent, but mainly was emotional for McAmis, one of the top basketball prospects in the Mountain 7 District and a team leader for the Warriors.

“It got me,” said McAmis. “Football was tough. But basketball, basketball was a whole different thing.

“I had never missed anything in basketball. That was the first time that I had to sit out and not play. It was really tough,” McAmis, the son of Wise Central basketball coach T.J. McAmis, said.


McAmis did not get to play last basketball season, but he was with the Warriors from start to finish.

Unless there was a doctor’s or physical therapy appointment, he was at every practice during the basketball season.

During Central’s games he was on the bench.

“I want to be a coach someday,” said McAmis. “Being on the bench gave me a different way to look at the game. And sometimes I was able to maybe contribute something to the coaches. I was just like another set of eyes to try and help out with what was going on.

“Even though I wasn’t physically able to contribute, I was there mentally and just wanted to lift up the guys and do what I could do to help.”

Missing eight or nine months of athletic activity, particularly basketball, was a tough gig for McAmis, who was tabbed as a team leader since his prep career started.

He turned to his faith in God for strength in getting through the trials of not being able to participate in the sport he has always loved.

Through prayer and his faith, McAmis dealt with the ordeal the best he could, and through his church he was able to turn part of his pain into a testimony about the goodness and faithfulness of God.

“We went on a mission trip to Nicaragua, and I was able to talk to folks about my injury and how I dealt with it by putting my faith in God,” said McAmis. “If I didn’t have that injury, I would not have been able to share that testimony. So, there was some good that came out of it.”


Now, a season removed from his devastating injury, McAmis is healthy and is back in the gym.

He can’t wait until November and the start of the season.

“We’re looking for some good things this year,” he said. “We’ve got eight seniors this year, and we’ve all been together since sixth and seventh grade. So we’re looking to do some things and have a good season. I want to go out with a bang.”

McAmis wasted no time in starting to prepare for the upcoming season.

He was cleared to play on June 12. On June 14, he was playing with the team in a summer camp at Virginia-Wise.

It’s been full speed ever since with another team camp at Liberty, summer conditioning and workouts for the senior.

“I felt like I’d been freed,” McAmis said of getting back on the basketball court. “I appreciate it a little bit more, and I just want to do the best that I can do out there.”

The big test for McAmis and his teammates will begin in November, when Central enters the basketball season as one of the favorites in the Mountain 7 District.

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