posted 2011-02-23 14:25:32

Senior Megan McKenna Makes Most of Season-Ending Injury

The tragically injured Megan McKenna. (Photo: Adam Stranley)
The tragically injured Megan McKenna. (Photo: Adam Stranley)
Senior Megan McKenna Makes Most of Season-Ending Injury

Basketball and Softball Star is Back in Action

Arthur Kapetanakis

Sports Editor

Five minutes into the Hunter women’s basketball team’s Nov. 15 season opener against Western Connecticut College, senior Hunter guard Megan McKenna rolled her ankle while cutting to receive a pass on the wing. She came out of the game at first, but managed to get back on the court for another six minutes later in the game.

Little did she know she had played those six minutes on a broken left foot. She had broken her fifth metatarsal bone and would require six weeks in crutches and about a month of rehab.

Now, a full three months later, McKenna is fully healed. She is back in action — on the softball field.

A talented two-sport athlete at Hunter, McKenna refused to let her injury ruin her senior year. “At first it was heartbreaking because I was at the top of my game entering the season,” she recalled. But thanks to the support of friends, teammates, and even players and coaches from opposing CUNYAC teams, McKenna was able to cope with her season-ending injury.

“I knew I would get better each day, and I realized that things could always be worse, especially with basketball injuries.”

As the basketball team’s captain and leading scorer from the 2009-2010 season, McKenna came into this year’s season poised to atone for her team’s previous year’s loss in the CUNYAC championship game.

She did not let her injury stop her from helping her team. Instead, she became a source of inspiration. Her injury reminded the team to “play every game like it’s their last and have no regrets,” she said.

Freshman guard Kristen Markoe has taken over McKenna’s role as the team’s leading scorer this season. She couldn’t say enough about her teammate’s behind-the-scene contributions. “Even though Megan wasn’t able to play during the season, she remained a key leader on our team,” said Markoe. “When things weren’t going well on the court, she was the first person we looked to for advice.”

Now, as softball season approaches, McKenna appreciates just being healthy and being able to get out on the field everyday for practice. In terms of softball, the injury may actually have benefitted the CUNYAC all-star shortstop.

“This is the first time in my life that I have been able to be a part of preseason practice for softball.” Normally, McKenna is gearing up for the basketball playoffs at this time of year, but she decided that, having missed nearly three months of the season, she would sit out the entire year with hopes of preserving her fourth and final year of eligibility for basketball.

In years past, McKenna would join her softball teammates perhaps a week before games started, coming off over three months of hard work on the basketball court and forced to play catch-up in her preseason training. Now, she is well rested and will be fully prepared for softball when the team kicks off its season on Mar. 16. “I am doing a lot of things at shortstop now that I was never able to do when I was playing basketball,” she said.

Meanwhile, the women’s basketball team has struggled without McKenna on the floor, posting a 9-15 record to date. All is not lost though — the playoffs start on Feb. 19, and if the underdog Hawks can string together three wins, they will be CUNYAC champions. In between softball practices, McKenna will be with the team every step of the way.