If you ever saw B.B. Waldon play, you know he's a fighter.
The former Bulls forward continues his fight after a major car accident last April while heading to work in Polk County. His injuries are numerous: spinal joints fused together. A skull fracture resulting in collapsed frontal sinuses. A hip that was unable to bear weight for months, which needed to be surgically repaired before the fractures and ligament damage in his right hand could be surgically repaired.
His recovery continues, but so do the medical bills. More surgeries and therapy are needed, but it looks like B.B.'s best decision might have come last December, even before the accident: He married his wife Kelly, a nurse.
Anyone that remembers B.B.'s senior season as a Bull (2001-02), where he averaged 12.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game on knees reduced to virtual papier mache, will not find it surprising that he's asking his physical therapist to push him hard. It was the same kind of effort and heart that earned him the top of USF's all-time rebounding list, which he still sits atop 13 years later.
"Twice a week he's at therapy, and he pushes himself," Kelly Waldon says. "He tells the therapists 'don't be easy on me.' It's tough. He's much better, but it's just going to take time."
So to help with the massive medical bills (B.B. had insurance, but the expenses are still huge) that have befallen his wife, daughter and three step-children, his old teammates and many friends of the USF family have come together for two events this weekend. B.B.'s former teammate Anddrikk Frazier, a point guard as a Bull, has also been the point person for making the events of this weekend happen, rallying support from across the green and gold community. "I didn't even know Anddrikk before this," Kelly Waldon told me. "But he's been amazing. He checks in with me all the time. He's been so great."
"We're here to do whatever we can for B.B.," says Frazier. "He's got such a big heart, and we'll do whatever we can to help. People are reaching out from all over, and it's been so great to see."
As well as at the events, you can donate to B.B. directly via this GoFundMe link.
The USF Alumni Basketball Game
Saturday, August 1st, 3 p.m. at the Sun Dome.
Former Bulls participating include:
Note: Reggie vs. Chucky in a point-guard off? Big Will posting up Esco? Marlyn Bryant dunking on every dude he can? Raheim Brown waving his NCAA Tournament ring from FAU at everyone in attendance?? WHAT DIEHARD BULLS HOOPS FAN COULD MISS THIS?? Fans are encouraged to yell a la Seth Greenberg "ZIPPER!" and "WHEEL!" at all these guys during play, and the first team to break out a 1-3-1 zone needs to get 10 bonus points. I can't wait for this!!
Donations for BB will also be accepted at the event.
USF For B.B. Waldon at Ferg's Live
Saturday, August 1st, 7 p.m. at Ferg's Live.
This silent auction and benefit will have many of those same players in attendance, as well as prizes you can bid on to help the cause. A small sample of the list of items includes a $100 gift certificate to The Columbia Restaurant, a gift pack from King Corona Cigars in Ybor, and tons of autographed USF items and gear.
A portion of all food and beverage proceeds will be donated back by Ferg's Live for B.B. as well.
Online Auction for B.B.
When: To be posted shortly.
There will be an online auction in the coming days with some fantastic higher-end items you'll be able to bid for online. These include a fantastic gift from B.B.'s former coach Seth Greenberg: Two College Game Day experiences (one football, one basketball) to the game of your choice as a guest of ESPN. The only restriction? No UNC-Duke basketball. That's it. Literally any other game you'd like to attend.
Note: A previously scheduled golf tournament benefitting B.B. at Streamsong Resort has been rescheduled for a later date.