Not many college athletes undergo the frightening experience of tearing an ACL.
Fewer go through the experience twice.
Senior forward Emilee Bose has suffered two torn ACL’s, one in each knee. The first occurred on the seventh day of practice in her freshman year.
“I was just scared, like, at the moment because I’ve never really had that bad of an injury happen to me,” said Bose, a sports management major from Enosburg Falls, Vermont. “The worst thing I’ve done was break my finger in high school… so like them (the coaches and athletic training staff) telling me that you’re not going to be able to play the whole season was very devastating. I was coming in like, I wasn’t expecting to play the whole game or start or anything, but I was just so excited to play.”
After a long and certainly stressful year of rehabilitation and physical therapy on her left knee, Bose managed to scratch and claw her way into playing time in her sophomore year, averaging 6.7 points per game off the bench in 25 out of the 26 games. Castleton groomed a successful 21-5 record in the 2017-2018 season.
Then her worst nightmare happened on the second day of practice of her junior year.
Bose tore her ACL – again.
This time, she tore the ligament that supports lateral movement in her right knee and was faced with a harsh realization.
“I knew I did it when I did it, and I knew in that instant I was gonna do that (recovery and rehabilitation process) all over again,” Bose said.
For a coach, this is something you never want to see, and Castleton women’s basketball head coach Tim Barrett had to see it twice with Bose.
“It’s not like a sprained ankle where you know you’re gonna be back in a week or so. It’s a six-to-nine month process to come back from an ACL,” said Barrett, who is in his 19th season as head coach of the Spartans. “It tears at you.”
Bose would not be deterred by the recurrence of bad news. Her drive to get back on the court was simple.
“Just to be able to play,” Bose said quickly and confidently. “I’ve been playing basketball my whole life. Those two things aren’t gonna stop me from playing four years, only two. And I got sick of sitting on the bench.”
Senior guard Alexis Quenneville can’t wait to finish out the season with her returning teammate.
“It’s great to have Emilee back out on the court, especially for senior year so that we can both enjoy our last year together and create as many memories together as possible before graduation,” she said.
Barrett is impressed with Bose’s poise and determination to not let her injuries define her athletic career.
“I think the biggest thing is, one thing that Emilee has done, is handled it. She’s stayed positive through the whole thing, and I think she’s going to be rewarded for it,” Barrett said.
This season, Bose is one of four Spartans averaging double digits, along with Quenneville, Brooke Raiche and Elise Magro. Bose is currently averaging 10.8 points per game, as well as shooting 47.4 percent from the field and 36.4 percent behind the three-point line, propelling the Spartans to a 6-2 record overall.
Most important to Bose is the impact she leaves on others. Despite the two season-ending injuries, her ability to use her voice and execute by example has separated her from the rest.
“I’ve always been the leader, that’s just who I am as a person,” Bose said. “People respect me more as a leader and a person rather than a player.”
Bose and the Spartans return to action this Friday, Dec. 13 when they host Colby-Sawyer in Glenbrook Gymnasium at 7 p.m.