HAMPSHIRE – Patrick Mayfield kept the story out of sight – and away from his mouth – all season.
"The first day of official practice, we were doing a diving drill and I dove [for the ball]," Mayfield recalled to the Chronicle on Friday. "My teammate landed on my arm awkwardly and I [partially] tore my [left] labrum."
The 6-foot-5 Burlington Central star guard, amazingly, never missed a start all season and averaged 27 points per game in leading the Rockets to a second consecutive sectional final. Mayfield also averaged 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
Last Wednesday, Mayfield announced his commitment to the University of Dubuque, a Division III program.
"I had to go through physical therapy basically the whole season to make sure that I didn't keep popping it in and out," Mayfield said. "I felt it all season. Any contact or anything, I'd always feel it...I thank God that nothing serious happened after it."
Mayfield got surgery three days after losing in the sectional final. Thursday was the first day he took his sling off and began physical therapy.
"I'm on the road to recovery," Mayfield said. "I'm hoping it'll be a quick one."
Mayfield's recruitment, as it turns out, was just one of several stresses in his senior season.
"It just feels so good to finally know where you're going to go," Mayfield said. "I can picture my future and stuff like that. It's a really good feeling."
Mayfield, who eclipsed 1,000 points for his high school career, was formally offered by Dubuque in early January. He juggled interest from six schools, including Benedictine and a number of junior colleges.
"They [Dubuque] told me I could make a big impact right away," Mayfield said. "I was the player that they were looking for. They have a lot of really nice facilities."
Mayfield built a strong relationship with the coaching staff, and it made all the difference when deciding it was the right fit for him.
After Mayfield scored 39 points in a game in December at the Plano Christmas Classic, Burlington Central coach Brett Porto advocated for his star.
"I've been doing this long enough," Porto said. "I've seen all the Division I players that I've coached against in 10 years, and he's just as good – If not better – than all of those guys."
He's now found a home.