Freshman Riley Allen is currently recovering from an ACL tear that prevented her from participating in the 2019-2020 Basketball season. Riley has been playing basketball since she was just six years old and has put time and dedication into this sport over the past nine years. Whether it’s been shooting baskets in her driveway or watching hours of professional games, Riley has never stopped working hard and figuring out ways to improve her game.
On the 23rd of September, Riley was taking part in a basketball game after school. The game started out like any other – she warmed up with her team by stretching and running. The whistle blew and Riley began to run down the court. As she was dribbling, a player from another team cut in front of her. The ball flew in the air and Riley plunged for it. Instead of gaining possession of the ball, Riley bent her knee in the wrong direction as she fell to the ground in pain.
“I was going for a loose ball and the next thing I knew, I was in pain,” Riley says. Although it was painful, it did not feel like an ACL tear according to Riley, she just assumed it was another minor injury.
The ACL, also known as the Anterior Cruciate Ligament, is tissue that connects the thigh bone to the shinbone. In most cases, ACL tears are caused by a sudden twisting motion. So, in a sport such as Basketball, which involves quite a bit of contortion, the ACL is a very crucial component in the sport so that the athlete is able to twist and move.
Riley has pulled many muscles and sprained ankles in the past, so this was not out of the ordinary. But, as the days went on, the concern for Riley’s ACL grew. In fact, Riley’s biggest fear has always been tearing her ACL because of the effects it would have on her basketball season.
After many doctor visits and an MRI, it was revealed that she was going to have to get surgery for a torn ACL. After receiving the dreadful news, Riley described her feelings as “devastated and crushed”. It was difficult for her to imagine what this year was going to be like without basketball. But, with determination and courage, Riley could conquer the situation.
Riley’s teammate, Cami McKenzie says “I know Riley, and I know that as soon as soon as she is able to come back, she will be even better than she was before the injury.” Cami, along with other basketball players all agree that it will be no problem for Riley to come back strong.
With many high school events coming up, such as Homecoming or Cougar Night, Riley was faced with a difficult dilemma. She could either wait a couple of weeks to get the surgery so she could take part in homecoming and Cougar night or, she could immediately get the surgery which would lead to a quicker recovery. She decided that recovering was her main focus and she proceeded onto surgery on the 18th of October. The surgery went smoothly and was successful.
Although Riley’s main focus is on basketball, Riley is also a star softball player. She has played for the Chatham Sparks Girls Softball team in the past. Her speed and batting skills have gotten her very far.