February 7, 2018 is the 32nd Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day across America sponsored by the Women's Sports Foundation with the theme of 'Play Fair, Play IX.' The importance of the day is to celebrate the achievements of females and to highlight the positive influence sports and athletic participation has had in girls and women in sports. Second year and co-captain, Annabel Morrisroe sat down with us to share her story of joy, recovery, and experience with women's basketball.
Following a standout first year in a Rams uniform, second year Annabel Morrisroe has played zero minutes for North Central Women's Basketball. Hailing from Cloquet, Minnesota and captain for the Rams Morrisroe has spent the last three months in and out of rehab and physical therapy. During the Rams exhibition contest against St. Kate's Morrisroe suffered a broken tibia and tore her Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL). Despite the news of the season ending injury Morrisroe has not let the situation define her and continue to trust in the process.
"When I got hurt this year I looked at my entire life. The process has had its ups and downs," said Morrisroe. "I could either be bitter and resort to anger or I could choose joy. I have learned no matter the circumstances in life when you choose to have joy in the midst of trials the outcome is so much greater."
After the break and tear Morrisroe had two surgeries at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota as a result of a partnership between North Central University and Mayo Clinic for Athletic Training services. An initial surgery on November 14, 2017 repaired the tibia but three days later Morrisroe was back in Rochester for a surgery to fix the torn MCL.
"Immediately after it happened I thought of the devotional that Karen Hagan has share with our team about choosing joy in the midst of trials. My teammates, coaches, and all of those who have been there for me have had a huge impact on my recovery and life," Morrisroe said.
Morrisroe's recovery has been filled with hours of rehab and physical therapy. Through all the physical recovery Morrisroe has remained a captain and steadfast presence on the women's basketball team cheering on the Rams at every opportunity.
"I have learned that life is bigger than sports and if you remember that you'll enjoy your sport that much more. Take the pressure off of being the best statistically but to have fun and use the skills and talent the Lord has blessed us with," Morrisroe said on her ability to serve the team through injury.
Just as much as Morrisroe has served the basketball team the commitment and support from her teammates has been reciprocated. "God has redeemed my picture of what family looks like during this injury and my spiritual family, teammates, coaches, faculty, and staff – I am so grateful for them," said Morrisroe.
While this season didn't go as planned for Morrisroe the culture of North Central women's basketball led by Head Coach Paul Brunner and commitment from her teammates has helped make all the difference personally for Morrisroe.
"My experience on the team has been amazing and I have so much fun with the team. Each teammate brings something so unique to my life. We all get along and push each other to be better with our relationship with God and in school," Morrisroe said.
Currently, Morrisroe is continuing her degree in social work at North Central, working through physical therapy, and cheering on her teammates through the seasons ups and downs. North Central women's basketball has four games remaining in the 2017-18 season with two home games remaining on February 10 and 14 in Clark Danielson Gymnasium.