He was all smiles Sunday, but that extra appendage under his right arm pit as he posed for photos has Aggie basketball fans a little nervous.
Utah State center Neemias Queta played a major role in Portugal winning the FIBA U20 European Championships, Division B. The tournament was hosted by Portugal and concluded Sunday with the Portuguese team beating the Czech Republic, 73-57, for the title in the city of Matosinhos.
Queta was named to the All-Star Five, which is basically an all-tournament team. His teammate, point guard Rafael Lisboa, was named the MVP after averaging 17.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.7 steals a game. Joining the Portuguese athletes on the All-Star Five were Vrenz Bleijenbergh (Belgium), Vit Krejci (Czech Republic) and Maksim Karvanen (Russian).
Queta earned his spot by shinning through the semifinals at the tournament. The Aggie big man did not play Sunday. In fact, he missed more than a quarter of action Saturday in the semifinals.
Queta went down after blocking a shot and an ensuing scramble for the loose ball. After writhing in pain, the 7-footer was helped from the floor. He was later seen on the Portugal bench with a heavily wrapped left knee. The USU sophomore-to-be did not play in final.
The complete severity of his injury is not known, but early Monday evening Portuguese basketball reporter Ricardo Brito Reis posted on Twitter that Queta sprained his knee and dislocated his kneecap. However, a MRI also revealed Queta did not suffer an ACL or meniscus tear. More exams will take place soon.
Queta recorded double-doubles in a quarterfinal and semifinal win before getting hurt. He had 26 points and 14 rebounds against Georgia, and then 14 points and 14 rebounds against Russia in less than three quarters of action.
For the tournament, Queta averaged 14.3 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.0 blocks a game. He finished second in blocks, third in rebounds and 16th in scoring. Queta was one of only three players to average a double-double.
Queta was named the Freshman of the Year in the Mountain West, as well as the Defensive Player of the Year in the league this past March. He tested the NBA waters, but decided to return to USU for his sophomore season.