AUGUSTA, Kan. Just four years ago, Augusta senior Zach Davidson didn’t know if he’d ever play the game he loved again.
“They honestly didn’t know if I was going to have a leg by the end of it,” said Davidson.
In the fall of his freshman year he got a staph infection in his right knee, it quickly spread to his femur and then to the rest of his body. He was hospitalized for more than a month.
“It got into my blood stream, my kidneys, my lungs and then my lungs failed,” said Davidson.
He developed pneumonia and was on a ventilator for weeks with an 80% mortality rate while the infection continued to spread.
“I had to drill out my entire femur and put in an antibiotic rod and then that finally was able to get rid of the infection,” said Davidson.
For six months he couldn’t’ put any weight on his leg. He missed out on his freshman season. While he had many questions, he refused to give up hope.
“I just really questioned why it happened but other than that I just really wanted to get back to playing basketball because that’s what I loved to do,” said Davidson.
After months of rehab, nearly a year later he could finally play again.
“A lot of kids who would go through something like that, they’re obviously not going to fight and push forward like he did,” said Augusta head coach Jake Sims.
Last season he helped lead the Orioles to their first state championship game since 2001. This season Augusta is the number one team in Class 4A and poised to make another run in the tournament. Davidson’s play is a big reason why.
“The impact he’s able to have on a game with the shot blocking ability getting the basketball to the rim and just being a guy you can count on and you always know what you’re going to get from him,” said Sims.
He’ll leave Augusta tied for the most points in a game in program history with 41. He holds an offer from Sterling and is getting looks from both DII and DI programs.
Right now, he’s focused on one thing.
“I want to put us back up on the wall so whenever I come back here in 15 years I can remember all the good memories we used to have,” said Davidson.