Positive Attitude from WWB Player is a Lesson for Athletes Everywhere
Senior guard Kiley McCollough is quite a leader on the Wittenberg Women’s Basketball team, though not in the way that one might expect. She’s not the top scorer, she hasn’t gotten the most rebounds, she doesn’t have the most assists, and she isn’t a starter.
In fact, McCollough has only played in five varsity games in her entire college basketball career. However, McCollough is arguably the most inspiring player on the Wittenberg women’s basketball team.
“In high school, in the summer and fall before my senior season started, I got a stress fracture in my knee cap and it wouldn’t heal,” said McCollough. “I wanted to play in college but my doctor wanted surgery.”
McCollough said her first surgery on her right knee was a complete and unnecessary disaster. Her knee misaligned and her family considered suing the surgeon.
McCollough’s next surgery occurred during her sophomore year in college. Although she was able to play in the first four varsity games of the 2011-2012 season, the pain of her previous injury was too great for her to continue through the season. She decided to get a second surgery to correct the damage to her knee.
“My second surgery was performed by a doctor who was connected to my first surgeon and he decided to just try and fix the first surgeon’s mistake,” said McCollough. “So the second surgery was also unnecessary and it didn’t work.”
Her second surgery required a recovery of up to eight months, but after her recovery period, McCollough was still experiencing pain. During her junior year, McCollough decided to have an arthroscopy performed on her knee. Surgeons went in and viewed her knee with a small scope camera to help diagnose her knee complications and alleviate her pain.
“But it didn’t work,” said McCollough. “Junior year, I wasn’t able to play at all.”
During her senior year, McCollough knew that she needed another surgery to repair the massive amounts of damage that her previous surgeries had caused. But she wanted to have one last shot at playing in a college game before her surgery scheduled over this past winter break.
“Coach J. and Coach K. were very supportive and wanted me to play as much as I did,” McCollough said. “Everyone on the team supported me along with my family and close friends.”
McCollough played in her first college home game at Wittenberg on Dec. 28,2013. She scored eight points in 18 minutes and led her team to victory over Case Western. But her accomplishments for her college career didn’t end with her last game at Wittenberg.
“I found out that I was Tiger of the Month for January while I was at home over break right after my surgery,” commented McCollough. “I was really surprised and happy. I was honored that SAAC would nominate me for the award because few members of SAAC knew my story. I honestly never though I would get this honor.”
McCollough underwent a tibial tubercle osteotomy with a tightening lateral release over Wittenberg’s winter break. She is currently rehabbing with Wittenberg trainers and is hopeful for a full recovery.
“I didn’t think I could ever play again, but I had a second chance and although I was in a lot of pain, I made the most of it,” remarked McCollough. “If you want to do something, as long as you are motivated, you can definitely do it.”