Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Brianna Banks drawing raves from coaches, teammates

While she hasn't been cleared to start taking part in full-court basketball drills, Brianna Banks has been receiving plenty of praise from those inside the UConn program for her work ethic and attitude during her recovery from a torn ACL.

While I was up at UConn today working on a football story on freshman quarterback Tim Boyle I was able to catch up with Geno Auriemma and he couldn't say enough good things about Banks.

"Even though she hasn't been playing any pick-up (basketball), in all the individual workouts and all the drills that they have done she looks great and we are anxious to see her in a full-court situation," Auriemma said.
"It is unfortunate (she suffered a season-ending knee injury in a game against St. John's) because her freshman year was a bit of a struggle as it is for a lot of freshmen but at least they have their sophomore year to look up to. She goes home, really makes a significant improvement, significant changes and comes back has earned the confidence of her teammates and her coaches and that happens, everybody feels for her. She deserved better."

It is not only Auriemma who feels that way. Fellow UConn junior Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis was also rather complimentary about the approach Banks has taken during the long road to recovery.

"She kept such a positive attitude throughout this whole thing, a lot of us were real shocked at how well she took it," Mosqueda-Lewis said. "She has been working her butt off the whole time, in the training room with (UConn athletic trainer) Rosemary (Ragle), with (UConn assistant strength and conditioning coach Amanda) Kimball and she is really excited to get back on the court.

"She definitely brings a lot of energy when she is on the court and she is that spark off the bench, whenever we needed a little boost Coach put her in, she got stops for us, got steals and made some key plays so hopefully she is going to that again."

Banks is expected to be cleared for full-court drills shortly and should be ready to go when the Huskies open the regular season next month.

"I am just ready to get back on the court," said Banks, who averaged 7.3 points per game in 21 games before getting injured. "I am just trying to get back to actually playing. I am just trying to take it slow now. I can't do contact yet, they want my quad to get a little stronger and everything else is really stable. It feels fine, I feel like a normal person. I am just ready to play and play like I was (at the time of the injury) and continue to get better every day. Rosie said she could have some limitations on it but after that I should be fine."


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