DURHAM, N.C.-- Before arriving at Duke I was recovering from an ACL and meniscus surgery I had in April. During my second week of summer school, I found out my meniscus didn’t heal properly and I needed a revision surgery.
Getting around campus on crutches and being in a leg brace for six weeks was not exactly what I had in mind for my first few weeks of college but I managed to survive and I’m glad those days are behind me. Considering this was my third surgery on my right knee, it was frustrating at first but it has only motivated me more to work hard to get back on the court as soon as possible.
I’m currently three months post op and rehab is going great! I do rehab with Summer McKeehan, our team’s athletic trainer, and Niles, my physical therapist, nearly every day. Right now in my rehab process I’m mostly working on strengthening so I’m doing a lot of exercises to regain strength in my quads, hamstrings, calves and hips so I can progress to running and cutting soon.
I’ve also been able to start doing some cardio to get back in shape, which is pretty exciting! This being my third go-around with knee-surgery recovery, I thought I’d seen it all in the world of rehab, but oh was I wrong. It wasn’t until I got to Duke that I was introduced to the one, the only, the underwater treadmill. I get pretty excited doing new things in rehab, so I love running on this bad boy. I started off only being able to walk in chest deep water but lately I’ve been waist deep doing sprint intervals against jets, so it shouldn’t be much longer that I’ll be running on ground! The facilities and equipment for Duke Sports Medicine are top-notch and the staff here is great so I know I’m in the perfect place and in the right hands for a successful recovery.
Because of my injury, I haven’t been able to participate with the team in practice, but I am able to lift weights. Our strength coach William Stephens, is incredible and has been kicking my tail. We had max outs a couple weeks ago and the team hit some big numbers this year! None of the freshmen topped any of the charts unfortunately but we did make a lot of progress from the summer to fall. I went from 110 on bench press to 135, and from 35 pushups to 60! Amber Henson led the team in bench press with a whopping 185 pounds. The team also has a goal they shoot for every year in conditioning and this year it was the “Champions” test. A champion is similar to a suicide but with more turns and we have to do them in 26 seconds. The goal this year was 14 champions and our team killed it come test day and ended up doing 15 champions!
The girls on the team are extremely entertaining and it’s definitely a fun group to be around. Thanks to Chelsea Gray, I have a new nickname around the team…. “Bec-Nasty." Yes, "Bec-Nasty", don’t ask how I got it, because I honestly don’t know, but it’s definitely stuck.
Being from the great state of Kentucky, it seems I’ve brought an accent with me, and the team loves to make fun of me for it. Yeah sure, I admit I’m a little country. My dad is a farmer, I love Luke Bryan and Duck Dynasty is my favorite show. But I don’ t ride a horse to school, raise pigs, or walk around barefoot all the time. Even Coach Brown has come up to me (more than once), and has commented on how he’s surprised I’m wearing shoes today, because he didn’t know people in Kentucky wore shoes. It's all good though, because I’m proud of my "country-ness!" And for the record, I do wear shoes (most of the time).
It’s hard to believe, but basketball season is finally here! We’ve worked hard all off-season to get ready and everyone’s excited to finally get the season going. Practices have been intense and the team is more focused than ever and ready to get going. We officially kicked off the season with Countdown to Craziness and our Blue/White scrimmage this past Sunday. Countdown to Craziness was nuts and I got to see how crazy and passionate Duke basketball fans really are. Being introduced to a packed house at Cameron Indoor Stadium was an awesome feeling and really made me take pride in being here. The team got the chance to play together for the first time Sunday in the Blue/White scrimmage and we play our first exhibition game Wednesday against Glenville State at 6:30 p.m.!
Our goals for the season are set high and anything less than a national championship isn’t enough this year. We have a veteran team with a lot of good leadership, as well as a lot of talented younger players. I have a feeling it’s going to be a special year.