STOCKBRIDGE - For athletes, overcoming adversity in a career is a given.
But when you're in high school and face that adversity in back-to-back years - only hard work can get you back to where you want to go.
Put it simply, it was like Sambresha Everett from Woodland had to become stronger and it just so happened that it finally came to her full circle by her senior year.
Given one anterior cruciate ligament tear is enough to derail a career but Everett faced two of them to make her comeback. It was a challenging process for Everett, but she thanks God and her family for remaining by her side.
"Throughout my high school career, I’ve gone through two ACL tears, on my right and left knee. Going through two ACL tears put me up against so many challenges," Everett said. "I was battling with depression and working ten times harder every day trying to get back on the court to play the sport that I love. During the process of recovery, a lot of doors were closed on me, but I was determined.
"I made up my mind that I wanted to come back," she continued. "Dribble after dribble, shot after shot, wind sprint after wind sprint, swats after swats, and bench press after bench press. Now I'm back bigger, stronger, and faster."
That was just a part of her rehabilitation on her knee to get back out there, but it didn't stop there. Everett admits that rehab was mentally and emotionally a challenge for her, but she found love and support from her physical therapist and personal trainers to make it easier.
Not to mention the support of her mother and father that gave her extra pushes and guidance when she needed it. Everett also knows that her teammates and coaches supported her as best as they can.
"I love all of my teammates and coaches from the bottom of my heart, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world," Everett said. "I knew I wouldn’t receive the best support from them because nobody will ever support me better than my family. I thank my coaches and teammates for allowing me to come back from my setback and display my talent. They gave me the role of being captain of the team, so I thank them for putting their trust in me to be their leader. I feel that my teammates supported me in the best way that they knew how."
What was almost destined to be a season where she'd be a role player and just fill out the roster as a player used in clutch situations, Everett became a key Lady Wolfpack member down the stretch of the season. Her head coach Roy Johnson even believed in her.
"You knew that from the work she put in when she got hurt - Sambresha is a fighter," Johnson said. "You knew once she was fully cleared and ready to go. She was going to put in all the effort that was needed to be on the court. All we did was manage what we did in practice to make sure she was healthy for game time. She never complained about her knee. She never said anything was wrong. If she felt good, we felt good."
Even so, the question of why she fought to get back on the court must be asked and it came down to how she was taught at a young age.
"I was always taught to never give up or quit on something that you love. I felt that if I gave up, I would be giving up on myself, and things the rest of my life," Everett said. "I knew that I had a storyline that not only changed my life but could impact others that are going through something that is challenging in their life as well. I wanted to prove to myself that I could overcome any wall that is standing in my way. I want people to feel that there is always hope, just remain humble and continue to pray."