Husson basketball player Isaac Varney competes against St. Joseph's in a recent game. Credit: Eric Ogden / Husson Athletics

Husson University forward Isaac Varney is resting back home in Glenburn after undergoing surgery for a broken leg.

Varney suffered three separate breaks, with two in his right fibula and the third in the tibia. The injury came during the Eagles’ men’s basketball game at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire, on Tuesday night with 11 minutes, 45 seconds left in the second half.

“I remember it as clear as day,” said Varney, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound sophomore forward who starred at Hermon High School before matriculating at Husson beginning in the fall of 2020.

“I’m playing defense and went up to block a shot and a little bit of a bump threw my balance off, which led to me landing solely on my right foot and from there the break occurred.”

On Wednesday, surgeons attached a titanium rod to Varney’s right tibia with three screws holding it in place, and reset the breaks in the fibula so they may heal on their own. Varney and Husson head coach Warren Caruso both indicated Friday that it is too early to suggest if and when Varney might return to competition.

Husson basketball player Isaac Varney competes against St. Joseph’s in a recent game. Credit: Eric Ogden / Husson Athletics

“Bones heal in six to eight weeks is what I was told,” Varney said. “As far as me running up and down the floor and that side of it, it’s probably going to be another couple of months after that, but I should be walking on my own in about six weeks.”

Caruso said that beyond statistical contributions amassed during 10 starts last winter and three appearances so far during the 2021-22 campaign, Varney has provided the Eagles a consistently positive outlook since his arrival on the Bangor campus – even during his time of distress.

“Of all the people in the gym when he got injured, he might have been the calmest in his moment of traumatic injury,” Caruso said. “He was lying on the floor and within a couple of minutes he asked for a phone so he could call his mother. He wanted his mother to know that he was OK, and that just speaks to who he is. He just cares about people and is incredibly positive and uplifting at all times.”

Caruso added that the same outlook may help shape Varney’s decision on whether to resume his basketball career next season.

“Isaac on Wednesday after the surgery was talking about getting back into the weight room, so his mindset is always moving forward in a positive direction,” said Caruso, whose 3-2 Husson team begins North Atlantic Conference play at 1 p.m. Saturday when it hosts the University of Maine at Presque Isle at Newman Gymnasium.

“He won’t spend a moment feeling sorry for himself. He really is inspirational, and with that mindset I don’t see him not trying to come back but we haven’t had that discussion yet.”

Varney first gained attention on the Bangor-area basketball scene as part of powerhouse Glenburn middle-school and travel teams that went a combined 37-0 during his sixth-grade season and 46-0 as eighth-graders.

The top three players on those teams, Varney, Bryce Lausier and Henry Westrich, went on to attend different area high schools and each helped lead teams to a state championship.

Varney’s Hermon High School squad captured the 2018 Class B crown, while Westrich and Bangor won the 2019 Class AA title and Lausier led Hampden Academy to the 2020 Class A championship.

All three are now on college basketball teams, with Lausier at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Westrich at Colby College in Waterville.

Varney started in all 10 of Husson’s games during the previous season that was abbreviated due to COVID-19, averaging 7.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 46.2 percent from the field.

Varney’s second season with the Eagles had gotten off to a slow start, as he missed the first two games of the team’s non-conference schedule while dealing with a partial muscle tear in the bottom of one foot and plantar fasciitis in both feet.

He returned to action on Dec. 12 against the University of Maine at Fort Kent, then followed that with 11 points and three rebounds during an 84-69 victory over St. Joseph’s College and six points and five rebounds in 10 minutes against New England College before being injured midway through the second half of Husson’s 100-91 loss.

“This was my third game of the regular season and I felt like I was just starting to get back into the swing of things,” Varney said. “It’s too bad this injury happened when it did, but God is still good, there’s always next season and I’m looking forward to supporting my teammates the rest of the way and watching them succeed.”

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...