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CSUN Dealt a Double Blow With Loss of a 2nd Recruit : College basketball: Auto accident in which forward Flowers is seriously injured comes on heels of season-ending injury to Gorham.

August 15, 1992|MIKE HISERMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The news has gone from bad to worse for the Cal State Northridge basketball team.

Already reeling from the loss of one top recruit, the Matadors are now in double jeopardy.

John Flowers, a junior college recruit from Glendale, Ariz., sustained serious injuries in a car accident in Kansas City, Mo., during the early-morning hours of Aug. 9.

The 6-foot-4 forward will not join the Northridge team, the school announced Friday.

Half of Flowers' right foot was amputated and steel plates were implanted in both of his upper thighs after the car in which he was riding collided with a van. Flowers' older brother, Tony, died in the accident.

Flowers remains in an intensive-care unit at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City. The brothers were visiting their grandparents, Northridge Coach Pete Cassidy said.

"This is a big, big loss for us, but even more for his family," said Cassidy, who learned of the accident Thursday. "It's a tragedy, and our hearts go out to them."

Flowers was Northridge's first out-of-state recruit in men's basketball. He averaged 16.4 points and 4.2 rebounds last season for Phoenix College (23-7).

"He was very much in our plans," Cassidy said. "He has a good, balanced game. He can score and rebound and he plays with a lot of discipline. He was probably our top recruit, replacing (top scorer Keith) Gibbs."

Last week, Northridge lost 6-7 swingman Geoff Gorham, a recruit from Riverside who is sitting out a season to recuperate from a broken leg sustained in a pickup game. Flowers and Gorham constituted 40% of Northridge's recruiting class.

Gorham's place already has been taken by 6-6 freshman Josh Willis from Crescenta Valley High. Flowers, Cassidy said, will be more difficult to replace.

"We're just burning up the phone lines trying to find out who might still be available, who might have fallen through the cracks," Cassidy said.

"It seems logical that most all of the players would be gone by now, but there's always a chance that there is someone left out there who can play at the Division I level."

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