News / USA

Overcoming Sports Injuries is both Mental, Physical Challenge

George Washington University's women's basketball team during a practice
George Washington University's women's basketball team during a practice

Multimedia

Tala Hadavi

Women are more prone to sports related injuries than men, but overcoming one season-ending injury after another can be a serious mental and physical test for just about anyone.

Nicole Ryan, 23, is a 6th year senior basketball player at American University in Washington. She grew up in an athletic family in Florida. And from the very first time she stepped onto the court as a four year old she knew basketball was going to be her one and only love. But with that love, came a lot of pain.

"After my freshman year in high school I broke my hand. The next year I tore my hamstring. The following year I tore my ACL [anterior cruciate ligament]. I came to American [University] -- I had two stress fractures in my shin my Freshman season… that summer I had a torn meniscus and another stress fracture so I had surgery and I was put in a boot.  [During] my sophomore year I played I broke my wrist, came back strong ready to go for my senior season and tore my Achilles [tendon]," recalled Ryan.

While Ryan may be an unusual case, Orthopedic Surgeon David Higgins says season-ending injuries among women are more common than most people may realize.

"They've done a lot of studies in particularly knees that women are probably eight to ten times more likely to tear their ACL's, their anterior cruciate ligament, than men are.  What has been the most prevalent problem with women having a greater incidence of ACL tears has really been their lack of training.  But it's not because the women don't want to train. It's because the culture has not been there," noted surgeon Higgins.

Ivy Abiona plays basketball at George Washington University, also in Washington. She plays on a full scholarship, but has paid a price physically. After two full years of rehabilitation to both knees, Ivy has remained true to a simple approach.

"Either way, it's going to hurt, so you might as well get through it," said Abiona.  "I just kind of took that as my motto or theme through the whole rehab process. And just went with that and kept on going."

Abiona's coach Michael Bozeman has great admiration for her hard work.

"That young lady is the epitome of hard work and sacrifice," said Bozeman.

Nicole's coach LaTonya Watson is full of admiration as well.

"It's a really tough road, Nicole unfortunately understands that tough road," noted Watson.

Both Nicole Ryan and Ivy Abiona now know their injuries have made them stronger.

"This process has been really difficult," said Ryan.  "And I think that it has definitely made me who I am. I mean having something taken away that I loved so much. Its proved a lot to myself what kind of person I am and what I can overcome."

As positively as these women have approached these injuries, the question remains… could they have been prevented? And if so, how?

"[It] all has to do with two big things. The prime one is the strength training.  And then also the skills that they are teaching women that they weren't doing quite as much 10-15 20 years ago," explained surgeon Higgins.

Whether or not Ryan and Abiona go on to play professional basketball, they are more prepared for whatever the future holds.  For now, it's just one more year of healthy college basketball.

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More