Bookout to have season-ending shoulder surgery

Updated: January 24, 2004, 1:27 PM ET
Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma forward Kevin Bookout will have season-ending surgery on his right shoulder next week, yet another blow during a rebuilding year for the Sooners.

Bookout, a sophomore, made the decision Friday night after meeting with his family and team physicians.

The 6-foot-8, 265-pounder, a preseason Wooden Award candidate, severely sprained the shoulder during an October practice and has been hampered by the injury all season.

Bookout was averaging 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1 blocked shot in 25.6 minutes per game, the second-most on the team. Those figures were a huge disappointment for a player expected to ease the Sooners through a rebuilding year.

Oklahoma has struggled to replace three seniors -- All-America Hollis Price, Quannas White and Ebi Ere -- from a team that won the last three Big 12 tournament titles and was a game within its second-straight Final Four last season.

After starting off 10-0 and reaching as high as No. 6 in the AP poll, the Sooners have lost four consecutive games -- three by more than 20 points.

Bookout's production steadily declined during the losing streak as he failed to score in double figures for five straight games. In Oklahoma's 67-47 loss at Texas Tech on Monday, Bookout went scoreless.

He could barely raise his right arm above his shoulder by that point.

Bookout, an All-American in the shot put as a freshman, will also miss the 2004 outdoor track season.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press