HUDSON — A senior year filled with expectations was in store for Alicia Artley.
Fivay High’s basketball team was 3-2 through the first five games of the season and the senior forward/center was averaging career highs in nearly every statistical category, including 18 points and 10.2 rebounds a game.
It was supposed to be the Falcons’ season to make a run within Class 5A-District 8 against the top clubs such as Gulf, Land O’ Lakes and River Ridge.
All those hopes were dashed when Artley broke a bone in her ankle Nov. 27 during a practice. Artley went home that evening thinking she might of just sprained or badly bruised her ankle, but later found out after going to the hospital that her ankle was broken and her senior season was all but over.
“My original thought was I was hoping it was just a sprain, but when I got home I realized it was probably a break or worse,” Artley said. “I never thought I would ever miss my senior season. I was all prepared to have my best season and for this injury to happen just really was hard on me.”
Since Artley’s injury, Fivay has gone 5-13 and has struggled to stay within striking distance of the top teams in 5A-8. As hard as the injury has been on the team, it has been equally tough for Artley, who is also the team captain, to watch her squad play without her. Fivay has competed, though, in losses against Gulf (45-28), King’s Academy (38-30) and River Ridge (46-30).
“I feel bad for my team because they have to handle all the pressure,” Artley said. “It has been hard to watch them. It’s really hard to watch my team, knowing that I could’ve helped them finish on plays or help out on the rebounding. I was watching them play River Ridge recently and it was hard to watch them and I felt like I could’ve help them win.”
Despite the injury, Artley has still continued to receive interest from several college programs, which include Huntingdon College (Montgomery, Ala.), Crown College (St Bonifacius, Minn.), Regis College (Weston, Ma.) and Virginia Wesleyan College (Norfolk, Va.).
Huntingdon and Crown have invited Artley on official visits, and she hopes to get offers from both.
Artley is optimistic she’ll be able to come back from her injury, as the cast on her ankle came off Dec. 31 and doctors have told her she is healing much faster than anticipated. She also hopes to begin light jogging by the end of the month.
“The first thing I have to do is find out from the doctor when I can start putting pressure on my ankle again,” Artley said. “I really feel like I can be an asset to a college basketball team somewhere. I just have to stay positive and stay focused.”
Correspondent Andy Villamarzo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.