Stronger Knee, Stronger Me. Athletes Bouncing Back From Injury.


Kaitlynn Evans, Telynn Lee-Rose

If you’ve ever played a sport, or been physically active, you know the importance of being fit, and physically capable of asking the maximum of your body. Imagine you’re running down the basketball court, lights shining, fans in the crowd, adrenaline pumping as you play, excitement all around, you’re at the top of your game, feeling confident and strong as ever and suddenly… POP! You’re now injured. End of the world right? Yes. No. Maybe so. Howler News caught up with two of our Lady Wolves Basketball players, Kaitlynn Evans and Telynn Lee-Rose, as they talk about their major sports injury experiences, the psychological effects, and their extensive rehab process.

As basketball season starts, Kaitlynn and Telynn are returning to athletics for the 1st time since they were sidelined with injury. Excited, determined, and motivated, there is a powerful story behind the brace! Kaitlynn Evans a senior, is a 5’7 shooting guard for the Lady Wolves. With athletic ability and exceptional shooting, She is able to knock down the 3 ball from deep! And Telynn Lee-Rose a junior, is an inside player, standing at 5’10, she snags rebounds like NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal with her power and length in the post.  Both with inspiring testimonies of triumph and overcoming adversity, the underdogs make their return for the 2022 – 23 Lady Wolves Varsity season.

(Q & A)

Howler News: When did your injury occur? What date did it happen on?

Telynn Lee-Rose: December 17th 2021

Kaitlynn Evans: September 5th 2o2o

HN: What happened? Describe the initial event as it happened.

TLR: When it happened I heard a pop, and it felt like it shifted, and Coach Gillespie came out to the court to help me up.

KE: I was catching the ball on the left side of the court, getting ready to rip through, and as I was ripping through I heard the pop in my knee and then collapsed. I was immediately in pain.

HN: What exactly did you tear in your knee?

TLR: I tore my ACL fully and my meniscus fully in my left leg.

KE: I tore my ACL fully and my MCL partially in my left knee.

HN: Describe your surgery day. Was it scary, were you nervous, any feelings you had going into your surgery.

TLR: I was kind of sleepy cause it was early. I woke up early. And when I realized I was finna have surgery I got scared and then my friends Neso and Ahmaiya called me and I felt relieved.

KE: Surprisingly it was a very peaceful day. It was winter and I went to the hospital early in the morning with my mom. I had a lot of peace about the surgery. I think when the nurses were telling me about the amnesia, that was the only time I was a little  bit nervous. But after the surgery when I woke up in the recovery room they gave me orange juice, so that was fun and then they rolled me out to where my mom was at.

HN: Describe how you felt having to sit on the bench and watch others play while you couldn’t.

TLR: I felt restricted cause I like to be on the court helping. Now that I’m on the sideline I feel like they don’t listen to me as much as they did before I got hurt. But on the court when they need help, they rely on me more.

KE: I felt frustrated and somewhat like an outsider cause I’m there and go to all the practices, but I can’t play. So people can’t necessarily relate with me or understand completely what I’m going through. Also, people don’t respect you necessarily as much.

HN: While injured did you struggle at all with identity? Did you feel as though some of your identity was wrapped up in being an athlete?

TLR: Yea. It was kind of hard to find something different to do. When our team was at the tournaments and I wasn’t able to go, I felt like I had nobody to talk to because I mostly talk to everybody on the team. And I don’t have many outside friends.

KE: I mean obviously if you’re an athlete that’s going to be some part of your identity, but I didn’t really struggle with identity, I struggled more so with feeling isolated from my team because I could not contribute on the court.

HN: How would you describe your mindset throughout your injury process. Did you do anything daily to encourage yourself?

TLR: I just told myself to take it one day at a time. But try and get back cause it’s not that I felt like everybody needs me, but I felt like prior I was more relied on. And I want to get back to that, and helping my team, cause I actually want to go to state and win district.

KE: A verse that I continually read and meditated on was 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, which to sum up pretty much says that for when I am weak, then I am strong. Explaining that I should boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses because then Christ’s strength will rest on me. This gave me confidence about the future, knowing that when I am at my weakest, God is at his strongest.

HN: Describe any support you had. Throughout this process how have friends or family been there for you?

TLR: My teammates would encourage me and tell me to cheer up while sitting on the side. And when I would cry my brother and boyfriend would cheer me up.

KE: My mom would bring me to physical therapy a few days out of the week. In the summer it would be at 7am, so we had to wake up early. And once school started it would be in the evening around 6pm. Sometimes she would come inside and take videos of me doing my exercises. I appreciated her commitment towards my recovery, and admire her selflessness. And I appreciate my twin sister Makayla because she would come in to my physical therapy sessions with me and would do the workouts with me occasionally. It was more fun that way. It didn’t feel like as much of a task.

HN: Did you pick up any new hobbies or interests since you couldn’t play basketball?

TLR: It’s been like a spiral of things. Painting, and then I started working on my drivers license, got that down. And photography!

KE: Yes! My junior year my friends invited me to Christians on campus, a club at Westside. And since I couldn’t play basketball. I took a bigger interest in that. And then I was given the privilege of running the social media for the club and was able to grow it through the instagram page. It’s a fun community where we talk about Jesus. I was able to focus on that since I could not do basketball fully, and it turned out to be a blessing. So praise the Lord!

HN: Has you injury sparked interest in the medical field, or you wanting to become a physical therapist?

TLR: Yes. I want to be a physical therapist because being with my physical therapist taught me a lot, and I feel like I would want to help people too.

KE: Yes my injury has sparked interest  in pursuing a career in the medical field and sports medicine. Prior to my injury I was already interested in kinesiology and physical therapy. But after my injury I researched it for myself and was able to relate to it, this sparked my interest even more.

HN: What advice would you give to someone else struggling with an injury?

TLR: I would tell them to not stress over it too much, or think about it and get depressed because the more you get down and cry over it, you’re not gonna have time to get back to what you want to do.

KE: I would tell them to think about life as seasons. Everything only lasts for a season, even if that season or part of life feels extremely long. Like for me I’ve been living 18 years and dealt with my injury for 2 years, that’s only a small portion of my life. So realizing that everything only lasts for a season means I can’t get too down or depressed about that because I  saw God do work in previous seasons of my life while going through stuff, and we’re always going through something in every season of life, and God always has something better in store for the next phase of life. Trouble doesn’t last  always.

HN: What are you most excited for as you return to sports?

TLR: Playing.

KE: I’m most excited  to play again, and not just add value from the sidelines. I’m also exited to achieve my goals ad continue to grow as well as see my growth. Ready to put to action all of the things I learned while sitting out injured!

Well there it is, responses on some challenging questions from our fierce lady wolves. Kaitlynn and Telynn are more than ready to contribute to their team’s success this season. The two are hungry and eager to prove themselves and get back to what they do. Though the recovery process was easy for none, it brought forth many life lessons. They both gained something where it looked like a loss. The “Pop” made these girls stronger and now it’s time to exert that strength on competition. Be on the lookout for number 1 and 22 on the court! They’re ready. And It’s go time. They prove that nothing is to hard to achieve. Though it may look hard, scary and impossible, there is a fight deep inside each and every one of us that can get us over the largest of hills.