It would have been easy for Meghan Turner to quietly make her return to the basketball court. She could have played a few minutes and worked to slowly build her strength back up.
Instead, Turner threw herself one heck of a welcome back party.
Not more than 24 hours after being released from doctorís care, the Midlothian freshman took the court in the Waxahachie girls summer basketball league and made a statement Ė injury will not slow me down.
ďIt was tough but I was really excited to come back so it was really good,Ē Turner said. ďRight now (my kneeís) a little sore. Itís always going to be a little sore but what can I say.Ē
During her first year in high school, Turner wowed the Midlothian coaches with her work ethic and abilities on the court. Her scrappy play on defense and tenacity against bigger players on offense made her a vital member of the player rotation for the Lady Panthers last season.
Unfortunately for Turner and her teammates, her season ended just before the start of district play when she tore her ACL, cutting a promising rookie year well short.
The injury stung but it didnít waiver Turnerís resolve to get back on the court. Months of post-surgery rehabilitation and strength training got her knee back to the level it would need to be to retake the court. And then, just hours before the teamís summer league opener last Monday against powerhouse Hewitt Midway, Turner was released from doctorís supervision and given the green light to retake the court.
While she didnít start the game, she was one of the first players off the bench and wasted no time in making an impact. When she took the court, Turner was put in charge of running the point. At the 7:50 mark of the first half, she dished out her first assist. At the 5:45 point she hit her first shot, a three-pointer.
Later in the game, Turner forced a five second call against Midwayís point guard for a key turnover. Her assist to teammate Sam Drusch sparked a 12-4 run to close the game as Midlothian nearly rallied back to beat Midway.
Not too bad for a player just getting back on the court.†
ďItís only my first day back so Iíve still got a lot to learn but Iím coming back. Itís going to be difficult but Iím going to do it,Ē Turner said.
For now, Turner is focused on two things Ė getting her knee back into playing shape and imparting what knowledge she can to Midlothianís youthful roster.
The latter is a bit of a quandary as Turner does have some varsity experience but isnít quite as seasoned as some other players on the team. But with seven players on the summer league roster that werenít varsity last season, Turner finds herself caught in the limbo of a player with experience and a young gun trying to get her feet back under her.
Itís an odd situation for sure. But itís one Turner is just happy to be in.
ďI have the experience but itís hard because you have to teach the other girls that werenít on varsity some of the stuff that you know from experience,Ē Turner said. ďIím kind of caught in the middle.Ē
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