Lindsey Sainâ€™s senior season started out like a dream. Sain, who worked very hard on improving her already stellar game over the summer, made a three-pointer and stole the ball from a South Iredell player.
Thatâ€™s when her dream became a nightmare. Sain went to pass the ball to Brittany Jones in transition when it felt like her â€˜joint in her knee just ripped apart.â€™
Sain initially feared the worst.
â€œI had this sick feeling inside. I just knew deep down that it was torn. It was the worst feeling I had in my life. As soon as I did it I looked for my mom and she was crying.â€
Her fears turned out to be well-founded as the doctors determined she had torn her ACL and MCL in her left knee. She was understandably devastated when she heard she was going to be out 5-6 months.
â€œIt really hurts because I worked so hard to improve my abilities. Practice was going great and I only got to play one minute. It hurt me because I wanted to live up to my expectations. It was my senior year, so I wanted to go all out and I knew colleges were looking at me,â€ Sain said.
Despite her disappointment and fear she will never return to being the type of player she once was, Sain remains steadfast in her faith.
â€œI ask why, but I know God has a plan for everything. It might be that this knee was in trouble before this happened. I never want to second guess Him because He has a will for my life just like in Jeremiah,â€ she said.
The Jeremiah she refers to is a scripture found in the Bible; Jeremiah 29:11. â€œFor I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you and not hard you, plans to give you a hope and a future.â€
Sain became a Christian when she was four-years old but she recently rededicated her life in the tenth grade.
â€œStuff happens and you just have to look at the positives. There are so many more positives that have come out of it than negatives,â€ he said.
On Tuesday, Sain had surgery. The doctors tell her it will be 11-12 weeks before she can even jog again.
The surgery ended any chance of returning to play, with a brace on, this season.
Lady Wolvesâ€™ head coach Franklin Lowery, in his first year, was also extremely disappointed.
â€œIt was a blow to her, a blow to her parents, a blow to the team. Lifeâ€™s not fair, but it can be rewarding if we live it the right way,â€ ever-the-optimist said.
â€œMy thing was I saw her look on her face and I told her that she was going to be OK. Up until last Saturday, we thought she was going to be back,â€ Lowery said.
Sain still maintains belief she will play the game her dad Mike introduced her to when she was only two-years old. This time, instead of the familiar black and goldâ€”it will be in college.
â€œI just have the love for the game. Iâ€™ve had a basketball in my hand since I was two years old,â€ the 17-year old said.
While she hears the whispers and doubts of other people, that say sheâ€™ll never be the same player that averaged 20 points per game last season, she believes otherwise.
â€œIt hurts, but I know my recovery is going to be remarkable. I know if I follow Him and put my faith first then everything is going to work out the way itâ€™s supposed to. If you donâ€™t have faith, youâ€™re not going anywhere in life.â€
For the remainder of the season, Sain will have to settle for the role of being a key encourager and verbal leader.
â€œWith it happening the way it did; that sort of prepared her for the fact sheâ€™s going to be out. I really believe the girls have really stepped up and they began to experience some success without Lindsey. I think they looked at her and realized what a loss it was going to be, but instead of being down they have looked within themselves,â€ Lowery said. Sain still has a vested interest in her team and teammates. As Lowery puts it, `She`s still part of the team.` by John Mark Brooks