Katie Meador returns after season-ending knee injury
Just one week before the FGCU women’s basketball team was set to face Oklahoma State in the first round of the NCAA tournament last season, forward Katie Meador was diagnosed with a torn ACL.
The season-ending injury, which spawned from a knee injury that she suffered in the opening minutes of the conference semifinals against Jacksonville, forced her out of the final three games of the season: the conference championship, the program’s first NCAA win over Oklahoma and the loss in the second round to Florida State.
Now, eight months later, Meador is back.
“It’s been an uphill battle,” Meador said.
“The entire time I’d like to think that I was pretty positive about it. I’ve been focusing on myself and getting better. I’ve been able to look at the team and look at basketball from a different point of view and see how I can help the team off the court and on the court.”
Prior to her injury, Meador appeared in 29 games last season, recording the team’s best shooting percentage at .512 and averaging 2.6 rebounds a game. Although she was disappointed that she couldn’t play in the final games of the season, Meador focused on impacting the game from the sidelines.
“I wanted to be there for my team, regardless,” Meador said. “Was it a bummer for me? Yes. But I knew I was still a part of the team and could contribute from the bench. I was able to see what was happening. I was able to talk to (my teammates). I could tell them, ‘Hey, so-and-so is about to drive. Let’s try to do this.’ I felt like I was able to contribute in a new way.”
Meador believes that her new view of the game from the sidelines will help the team once she returns to the court.
Now, she just needs to work on getting back into shape.
“I feel good,” Meador said. “Every once in a while I get a little fatigued — but that’s because I haven’t played basketball in like six months.”
Meador now returns as one of nine seniors. The 5-foot, 11 Illinois native isconfident that this season’s success willsurpass the year prior.
“We’re confident in the fact that when we get into the rhythm of things, we can be a great team,” Meador said. “Everyone shines individually and has a lot to contribute to the team.
FGCU will begin its season Friday, Nov. 13 in Greensboro, at North Carolina A&T and will host Florida Atlantic in its home opener at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17 at Alico Arena.