Thompson back on her feet after consecutive knee injuries

After+suffering+two+knee+injuries+her+sophomore+year%2C++junior+Randi+Thompson+has+participated+in+12+games+since+she+was+released+to+play+on+December+11.+%0A%0AWith+a+dream+of+playing+at+USC%2C+Thompson+is+working+her+way+back+into+shape+as+the+Redhawks+gear+up+for+a+playoff+run.+
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Thompson back on her feet after consecutive knee injuries

After suffering two knee injuries her sophomore year,  junior Randi Thompson has participated in 12 games since she was released to play on December 11. 

With a dream of playing at USC, Thompson is working her way back into shape as the Redhawks gear up for a playoff run.

After suffering two knee injuries her sophomore year, junior Randi Thompson has participated in 12 games since she was released to play on December 11. With a dream of playing at USC, Thompson is working her way back into shape as the Redhawks gear up for a playoff run.

Taylor Bullitt

After suffering two knee injuries her sophomore year, junior Randi Thompson has participated in 12 games since she was released to play on December 11. With a dream of playing at USC, Thompson is working her way back into shape as the Redhawks gear up for a playoff run.

Taylor Bullitt

Taylor Bullitt

After suffering two knee injuries her sophomore year, junior Randi Thompson has participated in 12 games since she was released to play on December 11. With a dream of playing at USC, Thompson is working her way back into shape as the Redhawks gear up for a playoff run.

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Her plan for a future in basketball was rattled, but junior Randi Thompson’s managed to stay on track. After two consecutive knee injuries, including an ACL tear, Thompson is back on her feet after more than a year of recovery. Friday she will be a key component for the Redhawks as they travel to Independence to take on the Knights.

Sarah Philps
A key component of the Region II Championship team her freshman year, Thompson (#23) played heavy minutes in the Redhawks 2016 playoff run. Two years later, Thompson is having her minutes limited as she works her way back from two consecutive knee injuries.

“I had my first injury my sophomore year,” Thompson said. “I had surgery on that and then I got hurt about two weeks after I returned to play in March. I got injured again and tore my ACL. I had surgery a second time in June. Just recovering from all that was super hard and me having to come back from a second injury and not being able to play for a whole year made me want to quit.”

Thompson and her coaches are taking rehab seriously, unwilling to risk more damage.

“Once she played in a game, we kept her minutes down,” head girls’ basketball coach Ross Reedy said. “Reedy and Lone Star are the only games that she has played over 20 minutes. We do have to push her a little bit cardiovascularly so she can get back in shape. We are just trying to gradually put her back in the fold. When she played with us as a freshman, she played 24, 25, 26 minutes. We just haven’t done that yet.”

Despite the commonality of an ACL tear with there being over 100,000 per year in the United States, Thompson’s resolve stayed strong.

“I had so many people telling me that I shouldn’t quit,” Thompson said. “Basketball is something that I need to be doing forever and I agree with that especially since I’m getting better. I have a chance to play college basketball. I felt like I should just stay with it.”

Worried of injuring her knee again, her teammates are providing her with as much support as the brace she wears on her injured leg.

“When her knee starts hurting she gets really scared and thinks that it’s about to end it all again but we just remind her that it’s okay and it’s probably just getting sore,” junior Brittany O’Reilly said. “We just keep motivating her and telling her if she takes a break it’s not making her look weak, so we just keep encouraging her.”

Hoping to play at USC after high school, Thompson’s keeping her goal in mind rather than the hardship of getting back to where she was her freshman year.

Basketball is something that I need to be doing forever and I agree with that especially since I’m getting better. I have a chance to play college basketball,”

— junior Randi Thompson

“I think Randi’s pretty mentally strong herself,” assistant girls’ basketball coach Rochelle Vaughn said. “We didn’t really have to do much. It was all her and what she brought and what she wanted to accomplish. She has goals outside of high school, she wants to play in college so I think those goals help push you to get back and this is all about her. She goes and works at the gym and does extra cardio, gets shots up on her own so those things keep you mentally tough.”

Although she isn’t back to where she was two years ago, Thompson is pushing through for her team and for herself.

“Once I started playing more and getting more active in practicing, that’s when I decided I should stay with it,” Thompson said. “It’s been very hard. I get super tired, super fast on the court. Me and my teammates we already had a lot of chemistry so there was no problem with that but it was just me getting back with them on the court. We were always cool since 6th/7th grade it was just me missing out playing with them for a year was super hard.”