Nov. 29, 2006
submitted by Assistant SID Chris Masters
As most everyone knows, this time of year is reserved for giving thanks for all the blessings you have in your life -- health, family, friends, happiness. And then, there's giving thanks for another installment (albeit way, way overdue!) of the BasketBlog.
I know it's been a while since our last entry in the Blog, due in large part to the start of our season and all the challenges that ends up presenting. Between the earlier start to the season, the injuries we've had to overcome (more on that later) and the usual slate of strong opponents, we've had to have our "A" game every time out. There's also the task of getting the younger players up to speed on various facets of the college basketball routine, most notably the travel schedule.
Folks who have been around the program for a while may be familiar with what a lot of us like to call "McGraw Time." That basically means that whatever time is listed on your itinerary, you'd better plan to be ready to go about 15 minutes before that. No exceptions to this rule - as some of our former players have found out in years past. In fact, Coach McGraw has told the story on more than one occasion about the time in Washington, D.C., when Meaghan Leahy and Imani Dunbar missed the team bus to the airport and had to catch a cab just to make the flight home.
Yours truly had a similar experience on a previous trip to Los Angeles. For whatever reason, I misread our itinerary and by the time I got down to the hotel lobby to leave for our morning shootaround, the bus was gone and the only familiar face I saw was Coach's son, Murphy. After he told me the team had already left for the arena, I had to hail my own ride there ... and then endure the heckling of the rest of the players and staff when I slinked into the arena midway through practice.
Road trips tend to be my favorite part of the college basketball experience. Each stop has its own unique charms about it, and you always seem to remember a little something special -- whether it be a particular restaurant, store or tourist attraction -- for the next time you come to visit. For our most recent trip out to Los Angeles during Thanksgiving, that meant the requisite stop at In-N-Out Burger, which I humbly submit is among the finest anywhere in the country (and that's not counting the fries, that are made fresh while you wait!). And there's something deliciously indescribable about seeing the petrified looks on the faces of the people at the front counter when they watch our 25-person travel party come walking into the restaurant, let alone when we're all sporting Notre Dame gear in USC and UCLA country.
One of the members of our travel party last weekend in L.A. was sophomore guard Lindsay Schrader. Most of you know by now that Lindsay tore the ACL in her right knee on the fourth day of practice and will be sitting out this season. But, she hasn't let that injury dampen her spirits. In fact, I'll turn things over to Lindsay and let her talk about how things are progressing ... until next time everyone -- GO IRISH!
Hey Irish fans --
Five weeks ago, I had something happen to me that I thought would never happen. I always knew that it was possible, but I thought I prepared myself on the court and in the weight room to prevent such an injury. The night before this life-changing moment happened, the team went to Chili's for an outing. We were all talking about the season and the goals we set for ourselves and for the team. Little did I know what the next day had in store for me.
It was the fourth day of practice. We were scrimmaging with the practice team as we normally do as part of our practice agenda. One of the practice players passed me the ball and I drove baseline with my right hand. As I jumped backward to get a better look at the basket, my knee shifted. I felt my quad go in one direction and my calf go in the other. It hurt for about a minute, but the players and coaches told me that they knew that I tore my ACL the second I let out the first scream. I knew there was something wrong with my knee, but Dr. (Fred) Ferlic, our team doctor, confirmed that with an MRI the next day. It was official -- I tore my ACL. I continued to cry for the rest of the day because I had worked so hard and now everything was gone in one second.
My mom and grandma drove from my hometown (Bartlett, Ill.) to be with me and eventually, to take me home for the remainder of fall break. I was really upset throughout fall break and had my surgery the following Friday. It was the most painful experience of my life and I do not wish this injury upon anyone.
I identified myself as "Lindsay, the basketball player" and the one thing in life I loved was gone for an entire year. I still have not gotten over being out for the season yet, but I am dealing with it and every day I am getting better physically and emotionally. I truly believe that hurting my knee is a blessing in disguise and I can't wait to see what that blessing is. I am really excited for the future. Coach McGraw told me a story about Niele Ivey hurting her knee during her freshman season and she had to redshirt as well. When she came back to play for the 2000-01 season, Notre Dame won the national championship. With the 2007 recruits we have coming in and the strong freshman class we have now, there are definitely great things in store for us and I get to be a part of that.
Before everything happened, I took so many things for granted. Now I realize that anything can happen in one second. I have a more positive outlook on life, which will benefit me and the people around me. I go to church every week now. I have realized how much I need my friends and family to be happy. I am visiting hospitals, elementary schools and speaking at local events to keep myself active and to give back to the community. I want to be a coach one day, so I am studying the actions of each of the coaches, making up plays and cheering on the team. So in the end, everything happens for a reason and I am going to be a better person for it.
Thank you to everyone who has sent me "get well" cards. I am fortunate to be a student-athlete at the University of Notre Dame because of the tremendous support that the coaches, players and fans have shown me both before and since my injury. Stay tuned -- great things are just around the corner for the Notre Dame Women's Basketball Team.
Lindsay Schrader #24