BEATRICE – This past basketball season, Beatrice Lady O Junior Michaela Jones broke the school career scoring record and season rebounding record, all while worrying about how many minutes she could play each night due to her legs.
“It was really scary actually going into games knowing that ‘OK, you’re probably going to have a lot of pain.’ I’ve been really sore on game day, and I’d have to limit some minutes even more,” said Jones.
Jones has chronic compartment syndrome, which causes pain in her legs when she exercises, including on the basketball court. She’s done numerous things to try and soothe the problem, such as early 6 a.m. mornings to Lincoln for treatment and breaks during games to stretch her legs.
“Nagging pain, like it’s just there. It’s kind of like dead legs and it’s very painful. It doesn’t happen just on the basketball court. I’ll be walking around at school and it happens. I’ll be sitting at my desk and it’s just so painful and not fun. I’ll be laying in bed sometimes and my legs will just hurt. It’s really tight and I want to get out of it,” stated Jones.
Jones is having compartment surgery in four compartments of each leg. She is hoping to get it done as early as next week.
Assistant Girls Coach Ben Essam says that in his 19 years of coaching, he has never had a player want and get in the gym as much as her. “She just loves to hoop!”
“Well, I’ve never had a surgery before and I’ve never been on crutches, so that’s going to be hard just to not be able to do much. Especially, for a week or so while I’m out of surgery. Hopefully, within two to three weeks I’ll be shooting very likely as the doctor said and then just keep progressing. Then, be playing by June, but definitely, it’s tough to sit, but it’ll be worth it when I don’t have to play in pain,” declared Jones.
Currently, as a junior, she already has an offer from North Dakota State University, and is being heavily recruited by many others including Colorado State and the University of Nebraska Omaha.
She was named KWBE/KUTT Girls Basketball Player of the Year on Monday.