Wednesday, February 17, 2010

VCU's Rorie still part of team despite ACL tear

We've read about ACL tears. We've written about them. They perpetuate the women's game in such a wicked way that we know the storyline by heart before we read it. The pop. The pain. Lost season. Surgery. Rehab.

How painful must it be if it's not just your season that ends that way, but your collegiate career? That's what happened on Jan. 12 when VCU guard La'Tavia Rorie, a senior from Charlotte, N.C., crumbled to the floor when her knee buckled on a baseline drive. Anterior cruciate ligament and lateral meniscus torn. Third degree sprain. Rorie had started 79 of the Rams 81 games at the time, averaging 13.2 ppg and shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc.

"It's pretty much the worst thing ever," Rorie said after a recent game. "I didn't think I'd ever have to deal with this."

Ever heard of a kid named Emery Wallace? The senior's promising collegiate career at Maryland is over after four knee surgeries. Kansas senior Danielle McCray won't play any more college basketball, either, after ripping her knee two weeks ago. USC's Jackie Gemelos and Stefanie Gilbreath, eight ACL tears between them, aren't seniors, but are there any expectations they will finish their careers without another knee mishap?

Rorie admits to not being over this. She cried a lot at first. "The first week I didn't let show anybody how much it hurt," she said.

It never hurts more than when the Rams lose.

"It's fine when we're winning; it's a stress relief," she said. "When we're losing, I feel bad. I feel like I could be out there helping my teammates."

Rorie does help, said Rams coach Beth Cunningham. The Rams listen to her. She's one of them.

"She's been there, done it," Cunningham said. "She helps with scout reports. It's hard for a kid who has been so involved in our program to find herself in a completely different role."

Teammate D'Andra Moss appreciates Rorie being in her ear. "I know how she feels," said Moss, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear a year ago. "We keep her involved. She motivates us."

As far as moving on, Moss noted, "You never forget."

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