J Roundtree

J Roundtree is a United States Army Veteran who loves sports (basketball, football, and baseball) and making YouTube videos. His friends know him as a giant teddy bear with a big heart who loves to help people, even if it is only for a brief moment with a smile.

Be sure to watch his inspiring video below where he was featured on CNN for losing 200 lbs!


1) Can you share your ACL story? 

So I actually tore my ACL Twice. The first time that I tore it I was playing flag football and with a minute left in our game we were up by 10 points and I just wanted to run the clock out. Instead of just letting the person get me I tried to cut up field (because of my competitiveness) and stepped in a hole and my leg just gave out. Also I'm not a little guy at the time I was 6'2" 250 lbs. 

athlete interview - jroundtree3.jpg

The second time I tore my ACL I was playing basketball. This was actually the second time that I was playing that day. I drove to the basket and did the same thing that I usually do but this time I missed the layup. I went for the rebound and got it but when I came down I felt something pop and instantly fell to the ground. This is actually on video on my YouTube channel because I was recording myself for my channel.

2) What was the hardest part of the experience?

The worst part about both experiences for me is not being able to be active. A few years before I tore my ACL the first time I had lost a lot of weight (200lbs) and had become very fond of running. So not being able to run along with not being able to play sports was absolutely horrible for me. 

The other hard part, I was going through the VA (Veteran Affairs) for my surgery and the first time it took them 8 months to approve me for the surgery, because of this and not being able to be active I gained a lot of weight back. So right before I tore my ACL the second time I was in the process of losing weight again and I had lost about 60 lbs and then tore my ACL again. 

athlete interview - jroundtree4.jpg

3) How did you stay motivated throughout the process? 

One of the best ways that I stay motivated is to take it one day at a time. At the end of one week you will notice that you are stronger than you were at the start of the last week. You just have to trust the process and understand that your body want to be back to a functioning mechanism. Sometimes it just take time.

4) What advice would you give to other athletes on the road to recovery?

I would tell them do not try to rush the process. The times that the doctors and therapist give you are there for a reason. You might feel like you are different and can do things earlier but just trust the process it is there for a reason.

5) Do you think this experience changed you as a person?

This injury has changed me as a person. I have learned that everything takes time. It is better to be at full strength rather than come back early. The worst thing that will happen if you come back early is that you tear it again then you have to wait twice as long to recover and possible not be able to play sports again.