By VYPE Media's Amanda Lattimer
For Anika McGarity, basketball has always come naturally, and her passion for the sport has grown stronger over the years. That paid off during the 2018-2019 season when she set the Smithson Valley school record for most three-pointers made in a single season (76) and was named to the UIL 6A all-Region IV team.
But, she had to overcome a big hurdle to get to that point. She sat out for almost 15 months due to two ACL tears, which affected her confidence in the sport and made her start to question her basketball calling. Going through recovery was a scary thing and McGarity constantly wondered if she would ever get to play the only sport she loved again.
McGarity explained that going through an ACL tear takes a toll on you mentally, and sitting out while watching every other player improve game by game was frustrating. However, McGarity found a way to play the sport again and continues to use her own experiences as a lesson and advice for teammates going through the same struggles.
"Your mind and your body aren't going to be on the same page for a while, so just relax and keep in mind that everybody's rehab process is different," said McGarity. "Stay mentally strong because that's the hardest part. You have to take it one day at a time…and, when you comeback after you put in all that work and time, it's going to be worth it."
McGarity is excited to continue her basketball career next season at College of Charleston in South Carolina, but has mixed emotions about the 2019-2020 campaign because it's her last high school basketball season. Due to the injuries McGarity's had to face, her high school career felt shorter.
"I'm just going to take every game and treasure it for as long as it lasts because it is going to be my last year," said McGarity. "I'm so glad that I got to grow with this group of girls because I love my teammates so much."
The most rewarding thing when playing in a game is the amount of practice that goes into it. McGarity loves the feeling of applying skills and plays performed in practice and leaving it all out there during the real game and seeing success.
"The glamorous results and the glamorous rewards and achievements come from not-so glamorous preparation," she said.
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The 2018-2019 athletic calendar has concluded, so VYPE Austin and VYPE San Antonio have had series dedicated to notable performers and moments over the past year. Check out the top 10 area UIL games that editor Thomas Bingham covered during the school year, as well as a notable TAPPS/SPC battle. All were entertaining, and we're looking forward to covering more sports action in 2019-2020.
No. 1: Late surge ends Cuero football's state title drought (December 21, 2018)
The Gobblers trailed 21-20 after three quarters of the UIL 4A Division II state title game, but leaned on Texas signee Jordan Whittington's record-breaking performance (377 yards and six touchdowns) and a 20-7 fourth quarter surge in a 40-28 win against Texarkana Pleasant Grove to claim their first state title in 31 years.