Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Stanford Season off to a Bad Start

The Stanford Women’s Basketball Team got off to a rocky start with two pieces of bad news. One C and R guessed: Stanford Guard Toni Kokenis is medically retiring due to concussions and will miss her senior year of basketball. The second was not expected or welcomed. Second year forward Aly Beebe tore her ACL during the summer and will miss the 2013-14 season.

Aly has yet to appear in a Stanford uniform. The sophomore missed her freshmen year while rehabbing from a torn ACL as well. C and R were hoping Aly’s mad leaping skills would compliment senior Chiney Ogwumike’s rebounding, much like Chiney did for her older sister Nneka in Nneka’s senior year.

Toni first sustained a concussion in spring workouts in 2012, reported Palo Alto Online, and sustained a second one vs. the Oregon State game in February, and she missed the remainder of the season.
Toni Kokenis
Toni Kokenis - Photo by Bob Drebin.
Palo Alto Online also talked to Stanford track star Kori Carter, Toni’s good friend and reported that she said, “Toni had to stay in her room due to headaches but that she also had her good days.” Wow, that sounds rough. We wish her all the best. She will stay with the team to help out as she works on her human biology degree. We hope her concussion symptoms remain dormant.

Oddly, this is not the first Stanford Women’s Basketball star to be forced out of Stanford basketball by concussions. Jamie Caery was told in 2000 she would not be cleared by the Stanford medical staff to play basketball because she had sustained multiple concussions, and getting another one could cause even more harm. That “could” stuck in her craw and she did not want to be done playing the sport she loved. She left Stanford to go play at Texas. Apparently that school was okay with the possibility she might sustain brain damage. Carey finished her college basketball career there and went on to play in the WNBA, and as far as we know, did not get another concussion. She currently coaches basketball. I wonder if Toni will feel that pull to play even though there is now a greater risk for her?

Still, Stanford will miss Toni’s stellar defense, and her speed coupled with her calm at ball handling. The second guard spot is still up for grabs. The rest of the Stanford team is currently practicing for their NCAA-sanctioned once every three-or-four years early Fall trip. It is Italy again, and how can you argue with that? Hope they get some good games in overseas.

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1 comment:

  1. Toni - we were so sadden to learn of your unfortunate early retirement from the Cardinal team and wish you well. We hope that you are able to move on and wish you a complete and full return to health.

    Please know that the Stanford Women's basketball community will always treasure your contributions to the team's success.

    On a personal note: You were always one of my favorite players as I am also originally from 'Chicagoland' and I always root hardest for my follow midwesterners.

    Best of luck.