Everything Happens for a Reason

Basketball, Sports, Spotlight — By on March 22, 2014 4:47 pm

By Hannah Whitley

Junior Alli Platte plays in the district final game against Crestwood in Independence Feb. 22. Photo by Lexi Kelly

Junior Alli Platte shoots over a Crestwood defender in the 3A district final game in Independence Feb. 22. Photo by Lexi Kelly

Alli Platte’s basketball career flashed before her eyes early July of 2011. Alli, now a junior, was furthering her skills at a UNI basketball camp that summer to prepare for her high school career. She stole the ball from an opponent and tried going coast to coast to score for her team.

All that she remembers is that someone was playing defense on her when she was heading down the court. She went in for the lay-up and was either pushed while in the air by the defender or came down and landed wrong.

How the injury happened didn’t matter as much as what damage was caused to her body. When Alli landed she felt her knee go to the inside. Alli soon found out that she had torn her ACL. This is a very painful injury that takes roughly 6-10 months to recover from.

The ACL is one of four major knee ligaments of the human knee. There are more than 100,000 ACL tears in the United States alone each year. Alli turned to her very supportive family, especially her mother and father, for guidance through this life-changing injury.

What helped Alli get through her injury was her belief that she could, “come out of this injury better than before.”

Being able to compete and participate in what she loves, Alli was back for her sophomore year of basketball, averaging 8.6 points per game. She was the second leading scorer for the Mustangs.

Unfortunately the summer of her sophomore year in June, Alli tore her same ACL for the second time. She was once again at a summer basketball camp, but this time at Drake University. Alli said that she felt her ACL rip but, “I prayed, wished, and hoped it wasn’t torn,” Alli said, “but ultimately, I knew it was.”

The first ACL surgery and rehab that Alli went through was different than her second experience. Her first surgery involved taking from her hamstring to replace her ACL. For the second surgery they used her patellar tendon. The patellar tendon surgery is a more painful surgery and forces rehab to go at a slower pace. Alli has had more problems with her second surgery, but she knew what to expect when it came to rehab and the entire injury in general.

quoteAlli came back half way through this past basketball season to play her junior year. She worked hard in the off season to be able to have the chance to play with her senior teammates one last time. This 2014 season, Alli played 16 of the 24 games. She led the team in points per game with 11.1, and she also had 21 assists and 21 blocked shots. Alli Platte came back and helped her team out tremendously.

This injury that occurred twice for Alli has helped her mature and not take things for granted. Alli thinks about what her future has in store for her since her former plans have now been changed due to her injury. She doesn’t know where she wants to go to college, but playing basketball in college would be a huge dream for her.

Alli started her basketball career in the first grade on a YMCA basketball team coached by her father. In second grade Alli decided to play for the Cedar Rapids Panthers. She played on that team with her friend Abbey Teubel. They are currently, and have been longtime teammates. She played on the Panthers club team until fifth grade. This is when she moved club teams, yet again, to Kingdom Hoops in Des Moines. Alli is still presently playing on Kingdom Hoops.

Her Kingdom Hoops basketball team practices two times a week. Alli is driven by her parents because the distance is too far for her to drive alone. Her club team plays about ten to twelve tournaments each season. Alli enjoys club basketball because this gives her an opportunity to work on her skills. “The more reps you get, the better player you will be,” said Alli. Her club coaches were phenomenal coaches and taught Alli a wide range of skills that she uses today.

Some people play basketball to stay in shape, some play it for fun, but Alli plays basketball because she loves the sport on and off the court. Alli has always been a very competitive person when it comes almost anything. She enjoys watching basketball on TV and even going to NBA games. This past December Alli was lucky enough to get to go to the Heat and Lakers games on Dec. 25. “It was a dream come true,” said Alli.

From having her ACL torn twice, Alli has learned to deal with all kinds of situations and to rise about any challenge. She has learned many life lessons while patiently going through the rehab processes with both surgeries. “I know if my plans change I can adapt and come up with a better plan for myself,” said Alli. “Everything happens for a reason, this is truly something I believe.”

These life changing injuries have made Alli Platte a mature and sensible young woman. As rough as it has been for Alli the past three years, she made sure to learn life lessons from her unfortunate injuries. Alli has bounced back from these injuries with passion and continues to thrive as an athlete at Mount Vernon High School.

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