Natasha Thames coping with injury

This article was written for my Advanced Sports Reporting class at Temple University.
Natasha Thames is hoping to come back next season better than before. (Temple University Athletics)

Natasha Thames is hoping to come back next season better than before. (Temple University Athletics)

Natasha Thames was playing in her third season on Temple’s women’s basketball team when her season was cut short on December 3 in a game against Auburn. As she was in the air, she made contact with another player and landed awkwardly, tearing her left ACL.

“I had no idea that it was my ACL or anything serious, for that matter,” Thames said. “I thought I strained a muscle and would be back in weeks. I was meeting with my trainer expecting to hear good news, but instead I was hit with worst. I’ll admit I was crying when I found out because I was heartbroken.”

The impact of her loss was also felt by her teammates.

“If Tasha was playing with us now, she would’ve helped us because it’s always good to have fresh legs,” center Victoria Macaulay said. “She is a great rebounder, which could have helped us a lot in the season.”

Thames, from Port Huron, Mich., underwent surgery to repair both her ACL and meniscus.

“I had the choice of using a cadaver or my own patellar tendon to repair my ACL,” she said. “I chose to use my own body tissue.”

Thames is currently going through rehab every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and said it has become difficult for her because of the pain she feels, even during the most basic exercises and stretches.

The 6-foot forward only played in eight games before going down with the injury. At the time, she was averaging 3 points per game.

“I try to look at the positive side of things,” Thames said. “It’s very hard to take in with the fact that I won’t be able to play basketball for a long time, but I see this as a wake-up call. You should play every game like it is your last because anything can happen.”

Her absence has not only been felt on the court, but even in the locker room.

“Tasha always had something to say,” Macaulay said. “Either if she was on the court playing with us or sitting on the bench. When it came to halftime and after the game, Tasha always had a word or two.”

Though the injury has kept her away the majority of the time, she is trying to stay as involved as possible with the team.

“I haven’t been able to travel with them yet,” Thames said. “If I’m not in class or in PT, I try to be present for team functions.”

Her season may be over, but she is using the injury as motivation for her return next season as a senior.

“This is definitely motivation for me to come back and have a strong next season,” Thames said. “Because I won’t be able to run for a while, this gives me a lot of time to work on my shot and ball handling.”


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Categories: Basketball, College Sports, Features, Sports

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