Caroline Doty will not approach her fifth and final season as a UConn basketball player with a sentimental mindset.
She could if she wanted to. When every step you take, each practice you sweat, every game you play and every city you visit brings your career a step closer to the end, and you know even taking a step was so hard for so long, it’s hard for some not to reflect.
Since the days of Shea Ralph, now Doty’s position coach with the Huskies, there hasn’t been a UConn player whose physical challenges and emotional responses have been so closely monitored.
Three major knee injuries, the first when she was a high school senior, and many other bumps and belts have conspired to turn Doty’s career into an obstacle course.
Well, here she comes again, now a graduate student, determined to finish the race as strong and positive as she began it five years ago. But like college should be, her UConn career has been a learning experience that should serve her well in life.
“It’s an advantage for life to understand that if anything is going to try and pull you down, the important thing is how you will respond,” Doty said. “I learned the right way and the wrong way. You can fold up and hide or you work to not let it affect you.
“If I were to give advice to anyone who will be forced to experience what I have, it would be to win every day. Even if you just have a sprained ankle that forces you into the trainer’s room for 10 days, just try to win each day. Don’t do too much, but don’t do too little. You will end up being fine at the end with opportunities you would have never imagined you could have. You will see the big picture and it will all be worth it.”
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