Iowa State’s Hallice Cooke helping Naz Long through hip surgery recovery


Kelby Wingert/Iowa State Daily

Naz Long runs the ball down the court against Texas in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinal on March 12, 2015 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. 

Ben Visser

Hip surgeries aren’t just for old people.

Both Hallice Cooke and Naz Long of the ISU men’s basketball team had hip surgeries within the last year. Cooke had his first hip surgery Oct. 28, 2014 and his second Nov. 22. Long had his first hip surgery March 31, 2015 and his second May 7.

Naturally, as teammates, Cooke has been helping Long throughout this process since he underwent a similar set of surgeries about five months before Long, much like how ISU big man Jameel McKay is helping Deonte Burton through the transfer process.

“Tons of advice,” Cooke said. “He’s always asking me questions and if he feels a certain way about his hips or feels a crack in his hips I tell him what my doctor told me, my doctor back in New York, and break it down to him. I know so much about the hips now, after going through the surgery.”

Both Cooke and Long are similar heights and weights with Cooke listing at 6 feet 3 inches and 190 pounds, and Long listing at 6 feet 4 inches and 210 pounds.

Both are shooting guards for the Cyclones who can play point guard if need be, so naturally the recovery process is similar.

“He’s playing in the Cap City so everything he says I just listen to because he graduated from the “hip school,” as we call it,” Long said.

Cooke’s team, Hannah Homes, won the YMCA Capital City League on Sunday evening, beating Monté Morris’ team, Phoenix Renewable Resources, by a score of 112-92. Cooke hit a buzzer-beating layup in the team’s semifinal matchup to move Hannah Homes to the championship round.

Playing in seven games for Hannah Homes, Cooke averaged 20.8 points on 48-percent shooting from 3-point range, 7.1 rebounds, six assists and one steal.

Cooke said he still isn’t moving as fluid as he would like to be but said that it will come.

Long said he’s a little ahead of schedule in his recovery process with the help of ISU athletic trainer Vic Miller.

“I’m recovering good. The hips feel really, really good,” Long said. “I’m able to shoot as many shots a day as I’m doing and to lift on top of that as well as run on the under-water treadmill. I’m active, I feel like I’m sore and I feel like I’m working again. It feels good.”

This process has also helped the two guards bond.

“It’s pretty fun and it gives us something to connect with. Me and Naz are already close and this process just made us even closer,” Cooke said.