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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid