As we approach the halfway point of conference play I couldn’t be more excited about our team’s success thus far. Recently our 11 game win streak, which was a not only a school record, but was just behind Baylor and Notre Dame’s winning streaks, came to end. However, we still hold on to a 14 home game win streak which is the longest in school history. Even though we still have a long way to go to reach our goal I think that it’s fair to enjoy what we have accomplished at this stage.
In November 2011, l tore my ACL four games into the season against Bradley. This is the only severe injury of my entire basketball career. I’ve had a handful of teammates who have had knee surgeries but I never imagined that it would happen to me. At the time I was probably in the best physical condition that I had ever been in, and I trained extremely hard during the summer of 2011.
Countless times I asked myself why me? Why did it happen to me? But I had lots of time to think and I realized that the injury could be a blessing in disguise .Going through rehab was a humbling experience and I learned to appreciate the things that I took for granted every day, such as the ability to walk. The toughest part was not being able to: walk independently the first couple of weeks after surgery, hop out bed in the morning and go brush my teeth without assistance. Even though I struggled quite a bit there were also three extremely bright moments during the rehab process. This included: the first time I ran, the day I was cleared to play again, and when I played in open gym for the first time in about a year with my teammates. The first time I ran was about 3 months after surgery on a treadmill. At that moment I could empathize with a young Forrest Gump when he broke out of the orthopedic leg braces and took off running. So I guess you could only imagine the joy that I felt. After I became used to running I can’t deny that rehab became monotonous until the second most memorable moment a few months later when I was medically cleared to play. At that moment all of the hard work that I put in over the eight months of rehabbing five days week paid off. Once I was cleared the third highlight was when I played open gym with my teammates for the first time since the injury and couldn’t have been happier. I appreciated the fact that I could be playing full go in the Edmunds Center; it was just an incredible feeling. Basketball was something that I missed being a part of. Having the opportunity to come back and play with this team is special to me, as we will continue to make more history this season.
Through it all I’d like to thank my family, teammates, and coaches for supporting me throughout the whole process, from checking on me via text message, to visiting my apartment, and bringing a smile to my face. Also I’d like to thank the awesome medical staff at Stetson and the physical therapists of Bethesda Memorial Hospital for their patience with me on the days I didn’t feel like rehabbing. Everyone encouraged me by keeping my spirits high and believing that my knee would be fine.
Looking back, the adversities I have come to appreciate have humbled me in ways I cannot begin to explain. The opportunity to be back on the floor playing again with my teammates is such a blessing. In life there are things we take for granted and knowing that I had basketball stripped from me once before, I take every day and make it my best knowing that a championship is in our future! Go Hats!