Staph infection leads to foot amputation for former Chicago basketball star Kenny George; leads to frustration for Kellen Winslow

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Former Latin High School basketball star Kenny George, whose 7-7 frame makes him the country’s tallest basketball player, will not play college ball this year amid reports that part of his right foot was amputated.

George, 22, played center for the University of North Carolina-Asheville where he was named last season’s Big South Conference defensive player of the year. He averaged 12.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.3 blocks.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that George contracted MRSA, a form of potentially fatal staph infection.

UNCA coach Eddie Biedenbach offered this poignant statement:

This is a really terrible setback for Kenny. He worked so hard to get into the situation where he could play last year and was working hard to be ready for this season. To have basketball taken away from him seemingly isn’t fair. There’s much more to Kenny than just basketball. Our thoughts and prayers are with him as he goes on with his life.

Meanwhile, in a different sport and a far different tax bracket, Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow said the cause of his recent hospitalization was a staph infection. He criticized the Browns for treating him “like a piece of meat,” according to the Associated Press.

Winslow is frustrated about the lack of visitors — one visitor in particular — during his three days in a Cleveland hospital last week.

“I heard from Romeo Crennel and I heard from my position coach (Alfredo Roberts) when I was in the Clinic. I heard from my teammates,” Winslow told the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer. “But I never heard from the main man — Phil Savage — and that really disappoints me. Sometimes I don’t even feel a part of this team.”

The AP reports this was Winslow’s second staph infection and the sixth by a Browns player since 2005.

“There’s obviously a problem (with staph) and we have to fix it,” he said. “Just look at the history around here. It’s unfortunate, because it happens time and time again.”

For more on staph infections, we defer to

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