By Kamya Hollingshed
Sophomore Guard, South Georgia Technical College
My ACL injury was unexpected, in all honesty. I was previously having issues with my MCL and was rehabbing while still playing. We were a month away from playing in our first jamboree. I was focused on doing my daily rehabilitation, which consisted of stem, heating, and icing for recovery. I sustained my injury on the 19th of September, just two weeks before the jamboree. We had team pictures and practice right afterward. As we were going through our first lay-up drill, I went up for a lay-up and just completely landed wrong. At that moment, the coaches and I were thinking it's still my MCL. My coach wanted to get it checked out because it wasn't getting better to come to find out at the doctor's office that I had a tear in my MCL along with my ACL being completely torn.
I was heartbroken! I broke down crying in the doctor's office, as our assistant coach was discussing the MRI results with the doctor. I was just so overwhelmed and shocked because that entire month, we had thought it was just my MCL. Being the type of person who is always laughing and just having a good time, it was hard for me to be optimistic about the situation. My teammates and coaches never let me feel bad. They always made me feel like I was still a member of the team. They helped me stay engaged in what we needed to accomplish last season.
The coaches gave me the privilege of doing stats for the games. I was able to speak on things I felt needed to be corrected. The coaches asked me for my opinions about plays we should run. They also asked me for my insight. Things such as what's the feel of the team, adjustments I felt we needed to make. The coaches allowed me to contribute that way, which helped me feel better about myself throughout the season. I still felt like the captain just off the court. Of course, certain games were harder than others to stay my positive self. In our first home game, I sat in the bleachers watching other teams playing in a tournament we were hosting, and we were about to play next. I sat there thinking, "I'm really not playing .." and just instantly broke down into pieces. I was crying so hard to the point where I had to leave and get myself together, along with sophomore night, and the day we won our conference and district games. Don't get me wrong, I was excited that we won our championship. It felt good to cut down nets for the second year in a row. But to not physically play and contribute on the court was a different feeling. I was telling myself I didn't deserve it. Felt like I had no place to feel the same excitement as them.
Through my recovery, I adjusted a lot. It made me take the small things like stretching more seriously and recovery as a whole because I didn't really take it seriously. It made me see the game of basketball differently. I took the game seriously, but now I take it even more seriously. I have a different mindset mentally. My injury made me see that you really can't take this game for granted because you could be sitting out at any moment. It made me angry at the people who only twisted their ankles and sat out for weeks. Here I was with a season-ending injury. I couldn't return the court after weeks, so yes, I was mad when others complained about minor injuries. This injury made me go harder than I ever have. I put in a lot of extra work. I didn't like sitting out. It rubbed me the wrong way.
When I felt like I had built up enough strength in my leg to shoot again that's the first thing I did. It made me appreciate the game more. To see everyone doing what I couldn't, bothered me so much but I knew if I just stuck to what I was doing, I knew I would be back in no time. It took a lot of me not feeling sorry for myself and just having do what I had to do. For anybody that suffers an injury like I have. I would tell them you're definitely going to have your bad days, but prayer, support, and a healthy mental will take you a long way. There are days where you feel like nobody understands how you feel but know that God didn't put you through the situation if he felt like you couldn't handle it and come out a stronger person in the end, and I am a sole believer of it. You have to take it day by day and remain optimistic about your recovery process.