Duke basketball signee suffers scary lower leg injury

Duke basketball commit Mackenzie Mgbako (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Duke basketball commit Mackenzie Mgbako (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball signee Mackenzie Mgbako suffered a scary lower leg injury. 

The headliner of the Duke basketball 2023 recruiting class, Mackenzie Mgbako, suffered a scary lower leg injury on Sunday afternoon in a highly anticipated matchup between Roselle Catholic (NJ) and Long Island Lutheran (NY).

On the second possession of the game for Roselle Catholic, Mgbako came off a screen and took a routine jump shot from the free throw line which gave the Lions an early 5-0 lead with 6:46 left in the first quarter.

However, the five-star prospect landed on the foot of LuHi senior Amdy Ndiate and immediately went down in pain grabbing at his left ankle before having to be helped off the floor by coaches and barely putting any weight on his leg.

Mgbako is joined by fellow five-star signees Sean Stewart, Caleb Foster, Jared McCain, and TJ Power in the No. 2 recruiting class in the country for Duke as the New Jersey native is listed as the No. 7 player in the Class of 2023, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings

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Mike Kinney of NJ Advanced Media reported that the initial fear was the future Blue Devil either broke or suffered ligament damage in his ankle but doctors relayed to the 6-foot-8 forward that he only suffered a sprain.

Mackenzie Mgbako did not return to the game but things became petrifying on Long Island when Roselle Catholic junior center Tarik Watson collapsed near center court early in the second quarter.

Multiple reports from Sunday stated that Watson, an uncommitted three-star prospect, remained responsive and alert on the court and Kinney’s report on Tuesday afternoon continued that the center has returned home and is hoping to be back on the floor for the postseason.

The game was suspended and not resumed after the incident.

Mackenzie Mgbako was recently named as a McDonald’s All-American, joining future teammates Sean Stewart and Jared McCain in the event.

Update on status of Duke basketball commit

The status of Mackenzie Mgbako remains unclear.

Roselle Catholic head coach Dave Boff told Kinney that his superstar will be out for a “period of time” but did not put a timeline on a potential return.

“We’re certainly not going to rush him. But relieved to know it was a sprain, not a break,” Boff continued.

Roselle Catholic will play top-ranked Montverde Academy (Fla.) on Saturday night in what was supposed to be a matchup between two future Blue Devils, Mackenzie Mgbako and Sean Stewart, while Duke remains heavily involved for the Eagles’ Class of 2025 superstar, Cooper Flagg.

It seems unlikely that Mgbako will be on the floor when the two teams clash.

The Lions begin its postseason in the Union County Tournament on Saturday, February 11 and the NJSIAA playoffs are scheduled to begin on February 22.