• ‘A Walking Miracle’: Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua’s return to the court

    Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua with Dick Vitale

    On Feb. 12, 2022, Baylor men’s basketball standout Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua took one bad step during a game against Texas. The injury was obviously and immediately significant, and doctors confirmed that in the days that followed. It wasn’t clear whether the man known as “Everyday Jon” would ever again be able to walk normally, much less play basketball.

    But as Coach Drew said, “The professionals … didn’t ask Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua.” On Feb. 4, 2023 — 358 days after his devastating knee injury — Everyday Jon returned to the court amidst an emotional standing ovation from the Ferrell Center crowd.

    If you’re not familiar with Tchamwa Tchatchoua’s story — or even if you are — two videos recapping his tale are worth your time.

    The first is Tchamwa Tchatchoua’s testimony, published eight months after the injury, at a time when his return to basketball was still very much uncertain. His emotion is palpable:

    The second is Holly Rowe’s reporting for ESPN last month, after Everyday Jon’s return:

    Tchamwa Tchatchoua’s knee injury was significant — multiple torn ligaments, including a severed peroneal nerve, that left him unable to lift his foot and with the potential of lifelong damage. But even as those early days left him in a “really dark space,” Everyday Jon’s signature work ethic kicked in.

    As he worked with medical professionals, including dedicated staff on Baylor Athletics’ Student-Athlete Health and Wellness team, Tchamwa Tchatchoua’s recovery was clearly moving along at a meaningful pace, leading to the shockingly quick return. A month after his early return to the court, he remains “a walking miracle.”

    Nine games in, Tchamwa Tchatchoua is averaging just over 6 points and 5 rebounds per game, but it’s not about the numbers as he and the No. 10-ranked Baylor Bears prepare for postseason play.

    “I don’t go out there trying to catch 20 rebounds and score 20 points,” he says. “I just go out there and celebrate the grace of God.”

    Sic ’em, Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua!