Cordell Pemsl knew something felt wrong in his knee. He’d dealt with discomfort before. His high pain threshold always allowed him to play through it.
The Dubuque Wahlert junior and Iowa verbal commitment this time decided to listen to his body. He told All Hawkeyes that he underwent surgery last week and was expected to be sidelined for 6-7 months, he said.
Injuries have caused the 6-foot-7, 230-pounder to miss games the last two seasons. Still, he’s helped Wahlert win the last two Class 3A state titles.
Last week’s procedue, which Pemsl said "improved the alignment of my knee", forces him out of his final AAU run with Martin Brothers. If he heals as expected, he will be back for his senior season at Wahlert to go for the three-peat.
"I’m not focusing on today. I understand that the next chapter of my life is much more important. I’m going to attack that chapter 100 percent and be better than ever. That’s my main goal," Pemsl told All Hawkeyes.
Pemsl verbally pledged to Iowa last May. He’s remained the lone member of the Hawkeyes ’16 Class, which at the moment has room for three more athletes.
As a junior, Pemsl averaged 17.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 blocks in 20 games. He contributed 11.7 points and 12.0 rebounds in three contests at the state tournament in March and was selected to the Class 3A all-tournament team.
Now, Pemsl must adjust to life without his first love, at least for the next half year. He has a plan.
"I’ll be at physical therapy three times a week. I’ll do core workouts daily. In addition, I’ll be eating right. I’ll be ready to go when it’s time to get back on the court," he said.