In the first game of her sophomore season, Mikayla Coombs suffered a left knee injury. It was the dreaded ACL tear. Season over for one of the best players in the Class of 2017.
Not knowing what would happen next, Coombs thought her dream of playing in the McDonald’s All American Game as a senior might have ended.
But two years later, Coombs is a McDonald’s All American and she received her honorary jersey Monday when the McDonald’s Hometown Heroes presented by American Family Insurance came to her school, Wesleyan (Peachtree Corners, Ga.).
“It’s a blessing that I’ve come back the way I have,” she said. “It’s 100 percent. I feel no pain at all. … God had a plan for me and everything worked out. (Not being a McDonald’s All American) was definitely one of my fears when I had my injury.”
Coombs, a UConn signee, says the experience of time away from the game has taught her an invaluable lesson.
“Not to take things for granted, like the sprints in practice or the defensive drills or the things that people might not want to deal with sometimes,” she said. “I always try to put an extra effort into doing it because I know how fast it can be taken away from you.”
A 5-10 guard, Coombs is ranked No. 14 overall by the espnW HoopGurlz rankings and No. 2 at her position.
“I think it’s a blessing where I am right now given the injury because there are a ton of great players in the 2017 class,” she said. “It would be great if I move up, but if I stay where I am, I’ll be fine with that, too.”
UConn also will be represented at the March 29 game in Chicago by wing Megan Walker, the nation’s top-ranked player from Monacan in Virginia. They both are playing for the East.
“We haven’t talked about it, but I’m sure we will because we have a group message,” Coombssaid. “She’ll be on my team and I’m pretty sure we’ll be roommates too so it will be a first glimpse of what college will be like. …
“I’ve heard the experience is unbelievable (in Chicago) and I’m excited to take part in it.”