Magley feels KU's pain, Former Jayhawk can relate to Simien's injury

Chuck Woodling,, Wednesday, February 5, 2003

What I knew about dislocated shoulders during the Wayne Simien Watch could have been placed on the head of a pin with a jackhammer, so I put in a call to David Magley.

Magley, an All-Big Eight Conference basketball player at Kansas University in 1982, wore a shoulder brace during his freshman season with the Jayhawks because he had dislocated the shoulder on his shooting arm twice during his high school career at South Bend (Ind.) LaSalle High. "I hurt it first during my junior year," Magley told me by phone from Bradenton, Fla., where he is basketball coach at Bradenton Christian School, "and if you don't let it heal long enough it can happen again, and I re-hurt it during Christmas of my senior year."

Instead of surgery, Magley continued to opt for the brace. "I scored 38 points the first night I wore it," he told me. "That gave me confidence. But you always have anxiety it will happen again, and it's really bad. It's like paralysis. You can't move it." Nevertheless, Magley continued to wear the brace all the way through his freshman year on Mount Oread. Then he finally had surgery at the behest of coach Ted Owens.

"I wouldn't have had the operation," Magley reflected, "if it hadn't been a mind-block for coach Owens. He felt I really needed it in order to be competitive against the good teams, and he couldn't see me playing with that brace."

Come to find out, three surgery methods now are used to repair dislocated shoulders. One is called the Bristow Procedure, another the Bankart Operation and the other the Putti-Platt Operation. Magley had the Bristow Procedure, even though it and the Putti-Platt are not recommended for athletes, while Simien underwent the Bankart Operation while he was a senior at Leavenworth High. "With the Bristow Procedure they take a bone out of your clavicle and block the shoulder," Magley said. "There's a 99 percent chance you'll never dislocate it again, but you lose mobility in your arm."

Indeed, Magley had to alter the way he launched the ball. "My shot was never the same," he said. "I shot more with a flared elbow and my shot really flattened out." Not that the alteration damaged his accuracy. In fact, it appeared to have helped his shooting. According to KU records, Magley shot only 35 percent while wearing the brace, but 50.3 percent as a sophomore after he had undergone the Bristow Procedure, and an even 50 percent as a junior. As a senior, he averaged 17.3 points a game and made the all-league team.

So the Bristow Procedure did not damage Magley's basketball career. However ... "It did kill my baseball career," Magley quipped, "but I had none anyway."

Magley could have selected the more sports friendly Bankart Operation, as Simien did, but chose not to. "You don't lose as much mobility," Magley explained, "but there's a 40 percent change it could happen again." Don't jump to conclusions here. According to sources (not the "Crapnet," as Roy Williams derisively calls the Internet), Simien's Bankart Operation did not fail when he caught his hand in the net in the UMKC game on Jan. 4. The newest dislocation was altogether different -- so different, in fact, that reportedly doctors who have looked at the dislocation have never seen anything like it. Thus the decision to consult a specialist in New York.

How the Simien Watch will shake out nobody knows. It could be Simien's most recent shoulder dislocation will heal by itself. Or it could be, like Magley, Simien eventually could play with a brace. Then again, also like Magley, he may need to consider the Bristow Procedure. Let me stress, though, that anything written or said about Simien at this point is pure speculation.

In the meantime, these are definitely happy times for Magley, now 43. He recently was named to the silver anniversary team of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and he and his wife, Evelyn, also a KU grad, spend most of their spare time watching their children compete in athletics.

Oldest daughter Jennifer is a talented freshman tennis player at Florida University while another daughter, Jessica, is a 10th grader and a basketball standout at Bradenton Christian School. Then there are sons David Jr., an eighth grader who already stands 6-foot-2, and Daniel, a fourth grader whom Magley describes as "probably the best athlete of all four of them."

Anyway, Magley's shoulder woes are ancient history, as I'm sure Simien wishes his were.