May 22nd, 2016 my life changed forever.
It was the AAU state tournament for basketball and my team was playing for fourth place. All I remember is that I was going up for a rebound and coming down thinking there goes my hopes and dreams. It was a Sunday and there was no open TCO clinic so we went to a competitor location that was closest because I was in so much pain. They misdiagnosed me with a grade 1 ankle sprain and told me, “You should be able to walk in 3 weeks.” They were wrong. After about a month passes, I am finally walking in a boot with pressure but it still hurts so my mom and I decide to get a second opinion. We go to TCO and they immediately get me an MRI to see what’s wrong, and boy, was the competitor wrong. I remember sitting down with the doctor and wanting to cry thinking how will I get this time back with not training for basketball. I was diagnosed with a severe bone bruise and I had torn my ATFL. I wasn’t allowed to put pressure on my ankle for about 3-4 months.
Once I started walking, I started physical therapy. I decided to do it with a friends mom I knew from basketball, Michelle Montgomery. She really helped motivate me to work towards getting back on the court, after being in the boot for 7 months it was nice to have a break and to honestly be done with PT. After I was cleared to go back to basketball, I was so happy and the first time I was back on the court I felt like I was on CLOUD 9 and was meant to be on the court forever.
Right before sophomore high school basketball season was about to start, I started getting pain in my ankle and it hurt to run and when I walked my ankle was really unstable. Michelle referred me to Dr. Cammack, who said I needed surgery if my ankle was feeling that unstable. Not even a week later, I had ankle reconstruction surgery. With his new innovation, it was only 3 month recovery time. I was really happy that it was a fast recovery time but at the same time I didn’t know what type of player I would be after surgery. I was flat out scared for the outcome I thought even with surgery who and will I be able to play again mentally. I was missing my sophomore year of basketball and this is a crucial year for recruiting for colleges, I thought there goes my dreams. After recovering from the surgery, it was AAU season for basketball and I was back playing I was so excited to be playing again and was ready to show college coaches what I could do. That season was the best season I have ever had as a basketball player. I started getting recognized my colleges and other coaches and felt like I could do anything. That season made me the player who I am, it helped me play with a chip on my shoulder knowing I put all this work into getting back onto the court I won’t let it go to waste, not just because of my work but because of the others that helped me with their hard work. I am now a senior in high school and have a basketball scholarship to play in college at Waldorf University.
Nothing is impossible, everything is achievable with hard work. Surgery helped shape who I am, if I could go back and change getting hurt I wouldn’t. It helped me play with a new purpose that I truly appreciate and respect.
I will always remember the people at TCO who helped me. The sense of community helped me in my recovery. My new mindset changed to having a chip on my shoulder and overcome obstacles rather than getting devastated by things I can fix by hard work. Thank you TCO for helping me through times where I didn’t believe in myself. I’m back and I’m better than ever.