Her teammates are in the midst of a magical season, having cruised to the KLAA South Division varsity girls basketball championship.
Plymouth Wildcats’ senior post Leah Kliczinski — who tore an anterior cruciate ligament in mid-January to suddenly end her final prep season — was relegated to watching and cheering from the sidelines instead of chipping in with her customary double-double production.
But Kliczinski did enjoy a moment in the sun on Senior Night, Feb. 13, late in the Wildcats’ 47-30 victory over Westland John Glenn. That win also officially clinched the KLAA South, Plymouth’s first division crown in team history.
With the Plymouth victory wrapped up, Wildcats’ head coach Nick Brandon inserted Kliczinski into the lineup as a Senior Night gesture.
John Glenn head coach Derrick Jordan agreed to let Kliczinski score, instructing his players to leave a lane open to the basket.
“Not only did we officially become division champs,” noted Kliczinski in a text message. “But I had an amazing opportunity I never thought I’d get. My chance to make my last shot of the season was undoubtedly one of the best moments in my life.
“Those few seconds were so valuable to me, and I can’t thank the John Glenn coach enough along with coach Brandon who came up with the miraculous idea.”
Brandon credited the Rockets coach for making the moment possible.
“We got her (KIiczinski) into the game late and the John Glenn coach (Jordan) was really cool,” Brandon said. “He allowed her to score a basket in her last regular season home game. It was a really cool moment.”
According to Kliczinski, getting out on the Plymouth High School basketball floor one last time was something she never thought would happen in the wake of her devastating knee injury Jan. 16 against Canton.
“I thought my last high school game was the night I tore my ACL,” Kliczinski continued. “But it turns out I was wrong. Now I know the importance of ‘play it like it’s your last.’ When I’m recovered next year, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
Brandon said Kliczinski is healing well and wants to be able to continue her basketball career in college.