Brianna Banks talks about season-ending injury
The tears flowed a couple of times for UConn sophomore guard Brianna Banks.
The first time was when she was told by UConn coach Geno Auriemma that her season was over after tearing the ACL in her right knee in a Feb. 2 win at St. John's. The next time was when she saw her somber teammates dealing with a loss to top-ranked Baylor two weeks to the day that she found out the severity of her injury.
“It is a lot harder to watch how hurt the team is and feel like you could have done something to make it better,” Banks said.
“I wish I could (play). It is starting to get to me a little bit.”
Banks will miss her seventh straight game when the third-ranked Huskies play Pittsburgh at the XL Center tomorrow in the final regular-season home game. The good news is a surgery has been scheduled for Mar. 14 to repair the torn ligament.
After struggling as a freshman, Banks had worked her way into an important role for the Huskies coming off the bench. She had already recorded more points, rebounds and assists while making six times as many 3-pointers in 21 games this season as she did while playing in 32 games as a freshman.
The play which led to the injury seemed so innocent as she drove to the basket in a Feb. 2 win over St. John’s. She fell to the ground and she felt the knee buckle.
“I feel like it is my fault,” Banks said. “I had Kelly (Faris) in the corner. I should have dished it and if I had dished it, I wouldn't be here.
“When she (St. John’s guard Briana Brown) hit this (left) leg, I buckled with this (right) leg. It buckled real fast and I felt it buckle but I didn't feel it pop.”
On the surface Banks has put on a brave face as both her head coach Geno Auriemma and her position coach Shea Ralph have raved about how much she has grown up. Out of the glare of the spotlight, however, Banks predictably was devastated when she learned she would miss the rest of the season.
“I cried,” Banks said. “My mom took it harder than I did. If I go into a deep depression like my mom did it is not going to do me any good, I would take a step back and that is not what I want to do.”
Auriemma said Banks has been diligent going through the rehab process which can be a tough task for a player knowing they won’t be able to step back onto the court for several months.
“She has been great,” Auriemma said. “It is an impossible situation but her attitude has been great. She has been pretty diligent being where she is supposed to be where she is going to be there. She is out there whenever she can be so she is doing everything she can and the rest of out of her hands.”