This pro gamer returned to competition 8 months after getting injured in a mass shooting and having his thumb surgically reattached
- Professional gamer Timothy "oLARRY" Anselimo will return to the NBA 2K League after being shot four times during a mass shooting at a competitive gaming event in August 2018.
- Anselimo was shot in the chest, hip and hand at a "Madden NFL 19" tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, and required reconstructive surgery to reattach his thumb.
- T-Wolves Gaming drafted Anselimo in this year's NBA 2K League expansion draft, and he was subsequently traded to Cavs Legion, an affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The season began in April.
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More than eight months after surviving a deadly mass shooting at an esports event, professional gamer Timothy "oLarry" Anselimo has returned to competition in the NBA 2K League.
Three people were killed during the mass shooting at a "Madden NFL 19" tournament in Jacksonville, Florida on August 26, 2018. Anselimo was one of the 11 other people injured at the scene.ESPN reports that Anselimo suffered four gunshot wounds to his chest, hip, and hand. The injuries to his hand detached his right thumb, requiring a pair of reconstructive surgeries at the University of Florida Health Jacksonville hospital in the days following the shooting.
The injury forced Anselimo to undergo intensive physical therapy and change the way he grips the controller. With his thumb still recovering, Anselimo now relies more on his index finger to execute commands. Anselimo told ESPN his physical therapist expects him to have 90 percent of the function in his right hand by the end of the year.
Prior to the shooting, Anselimo competed in the first season of the NBA 2K League as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks' affiliate, Bucks Gaming. The team declined to renew his contract on September 4, 2018, just days after the shooting occurred. NBA 2K League teams were only allowed to retain two players at the end of the season, and the remaining players were entered into an expansion draft pool, including Anselimo.
Three weeks later, Anselimo was drafted by Minnesota's T-Wolves Gaming. He was then traded to the Cavs Legion, the 2K League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers. After months of physical therapy, Anselimo debuted with his new team in March. The NBA 2K League plays its regular season games at a studio in Long Island City, New York. Players earn a salary between $33,000 and $37,000 for the six-month season.
To learn more about Timothy "oLarry" Anselimo's intense road to recovery, and how he deals with the aftermath of the Jacksonville shooting, be sure to check out Jacob Wolf's full profile on ESPN. The 2019 NBA 2K League season is currently underway, and you can watch the games every Thursday on Twitch or YouTube Gaming.