Santa Clara head coach Kerry Keating announced Friday morning fifth-year senior forward Yannick Atanga, the Broncos' top rebounder and shot blocker, will have season-ending surgery on Dec. 16. The Yaounde, Cameron native suffered a torn ACL in the first game of the season in the Broncos' 89-72 win vs. Cal State Fullerton.
Atanga has played in 103 games with 41 starts. His career numbers include 94 blocks and 570 rebounds. Atanga passed Kurt Rambis (93) for fifth place on the career blocks list and he is just six shy of becoming the 5th player in school history with 100 or more.
"Obviously this is heart breaking for Yannick, who had positioned himself physically and mentally for a tremendous season." Keating said. "Of course, Yannick will remain a big part of what we do this season but now in a more vocal and supportive role. We are confident in the process he will go thorough here with unparalleled support for a full recovery. We also anticipate an appeal for him to recover the lost season will be met with sympathy and understanding."
"I am extremely disappointed to end this season with a torn ACL," Atanga said. "I worked very hard during the off-season to come into this year in the best shape of my life and I looked forward to leading this team. Now I will help lead the team from the bench as I work to recover. I believe that everything happens for a reason and I trust and believe that God has a better plan for me. This is just a minor setback for a major come back. I want to thank everyone for their support and love. Yes, I will be back stronger!"