Virginia Tech Guard Rodney Rice Has A New Appreciation For Basketball

Rodney Rice has a new appreciation for the game he loves after missing most of last season. (Jon Fleming)

On January 14, Rodney Rice dove for a loose ball at a Virginia Tech basketball practice, three days after making his collegiate debut at Syracuse.

“I come up and my finger’s just burning,” Rice told Tech Sideline in a September interview. “I’m like, ‘Yo, I can’t move it.’ I tried to dribble but was like, ‘Nah, I can’t.’”

The conclusion: broken finger. It was a shocking setback for the Clinton, Md., native, the second of his freshman year. While back home in August, he broke his ankle on a non-contact close-out drill, which required surgery. And after rehabbing for five months, the basketball gods threw another wrench in his plans.

“I was just like, ‘Man, I can’t get a break,’” Rice said.