Already playing without its coach, the Pickerington High School Central boys basketball team also faces time without its best player.
Jae’Sean Tate, a 6-foot-5 senior forward and Ohio State signee who is the program’s all-time leading scorer, will undergo an MRI on Thursday, Feb. 6, to determine whether he needs shoulder surgery.
Tate said he tore the labrum in his right shoulder last May.
“It just wasn’t getting any better,” said Tate, who has no timetable for a possible return. “There hasn’t been a lot of pain, but I don’t want to damage my shoulder any more.”
Tate, who was averaging 20.7 points for the Tigers, did not play in a 77-72 win over Grove City on Jan. 31 that improved Central to 14-3 overall and 9-1 in the OCC-Ohio Division.
Tate committed to Ohio State before his junior season, in which he averaged 21.9 points and 12 rebounds and was named first-team all-district in Division I and ThisWeek’s Super 12 captain.
The Tigers were 8-0 under interim coach Eric Krueger entering the week. He has coached the past month in place of Jerry Francis, who is on an indefinite leave of absence for health-related reasons.
“We will have to make a lot of adjustments,” Krueger said. “Our offense runs through J.T.”