SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Lexi Unruh’s senior season couldn’t have started out any better, as her Sioux Falls Christian team is off to an 11-1 start. But for the future Creighton Bluejay, it was a long journey just to get back on the court with her Charger teammates.
It was the first game of Lexi Unruh’s junior season, as Sioux Falls Christian played Lennox.
“It was 30 seconds in and I went after a loose ball. All of a sudden I fell to the floor and felt a pop in my knee. There was no pain so I got up and I tried to keep playing and thought I was fine, but something felt off the whole time,” Lexi Unruh said.
Unruh would leave the game, and later learned she tore the ACL in her left knee, ending her season. She feared what this meant for her future.
“My dreams of playing college basketball were, I was scared, I didn’t know what that meant. But Creighton always, they told me that they would never take away my scholarship. They knew I was going to work for it, and they knew I was going to be stronger when I got back,” Unruh said.
While she focused on her recovery, Unruh also found a new role with her team.
“I was able to do a lot more, almost coaching and stuff to the younger girls. I think I want to pursue that in the future so it was fun to see more from that side of things,” Unruh said.
11 months after her injury, Lexi was cleared to play again right before her senior season started.
“I’m sure she wouldn’t say that she’d choose to go through it again, but you know it gave her a good perspective on you know, being grateful to be able to play now,” Head Coach Andrea Begeman said.
Unruh’s journey back to the court came full circle as the Chargers opened this season versus the same team she tore ACL against.
“I have never been that nervous for a basketball game. It was Lennox again, so all the memories from the year before were coming back to me. But once I stepped out onto the court it was all good. It felt like home,” Unruh said.
And it’s been smooth sailing ever since.
“This season has been the season of a lifetime. It’s been so fun. We all get along so well on and off the court. So many memories, it’s been a great season so far,” Unruh said.
Unruh and the Chargers return to action tomorrow night as they visit Dakota Valley. Tip-off is set for 6:30.