DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University junior Kyra Lambert announced Tuesday she will redshirt the 2017-18 women’s basketball season. Lambert, a 5-9 point guard, tore her ACL last March against Hampton in the NCAA Tournament.
“I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and whatever’s God’s plan is the perfect plan,” said Lambert. “I never thought I would get injured, especially not an ACL tear. I never thought I would have to make the decision I am making right now. But I trust Him and I know He knows what is best for me.”
Lambert, who hails from Cibolo, Texas, had started 56-of-65 contests over her first two years prior to the injury a season ago. She started all 33 games as a sophomore, while averaging 7.8 points, 3.5 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 steals. Lambert was voted one of three captains for the 2017-18 campaign by her teammates.
“We are so proud of Kyra for her strength and courage in fighting back from an incredibly unfortunate injury,” commented Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie. “We support her decision to redshirt this season. There is no doubt that she will return next year stronger than ever!”
Following redshirting the 2017-18 campaign, Lambert will have two years of eligibility remaining and is on track to graduate with a degree in environmental science & policy and cultural anthropology in May of 2019.
“I have been working really hard the last 8-9 months to get my leg right, trying to get it back the way it was,” said Lambert. “The athletic training staff here at Duke has been phenomenal. I couldn’t ask for better people to work with each and every day. We have been working hard on strength, quickness and everything in between. However, after many prayers and talking with my parents, coaches and the athletic training staff I have decided to redshirt this season. I will not be stepping foot on the court this year.”
“It is going to be very hard not being out there with the team, but I know they are very capable of going far and accomplishing the goals we have set for ourselves this season. As of right now, I don’t feel like my knee is strong enough to get me at the level that I was playing at and I don’t want to come back anything less than 100 percent. I want to step on the court just like I was and, hopefully, even better than I was before the injury happened. It has taken a long time to come to this decision and it has definitely been one of the toughest decisions I have ever made, but I think this is the best decision for me.”
Duke is currently ranked No. 14 nationally and will host UNC Greensboro Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m., in Cameron Indoor Stadium. It will be aired live on ACC Network Extra.
“I know this team is going to do amazing things,” said Lambert. “I cannot wait to see how far we go. I am going to be on that bench encouraging and giving energy to my team every game. I am also going to be working as hard as I can to get back to 100 percent so that next year when the time comes around I will be more than ready to come out here and lead this team.”