Bent but not broken, Bell determined to return
SPORTS FEATURES EDITOR
Using an anti-gravity bodyweight-altering treadmill three months after breaking her tibia and fibula, Delaware women’s basketball junior forward Alecia Bell is slowly learning how to run again. Bell steps into the vacuum-sealed section of this machine every afternoon, with the goal of getting herself back on the court before her recovery timeline.
November 16th, 2014 will be a day Bell and everyone at the Bob Carpenter Center will remember for the rest of their lives. After silencing the Kirby Sports Center in Easton, PA earlier that week with her career-high scoring game against Lafayette, Bell would silence the audience at the Bob in a different fashion.
After missing a shot and jumping up for her own rebound, Bell landed on her left leg hard as an audible snap reverberated throughout the entire arena. Bell would be looking at her left leg with an angle included below her knee.
“I was taken back, and everyone in the whole place had the same reaction,” said Sean Grogan, a reporter for the Cecil Whig in attendance the night Bell’s injury occurred. “The worst part about it was that you could hear her because of the silence, and she was in such obvious pain. It was audible throughout the entire Bob.”
After being carried off the court, the co-captain yelled to her teammates to win the game, and was whisked away to Christiana Hospital for surgery.
Now, originally projected to be back to playing in October, Bell looks to be back on the court a full four months sooner than expected.
“After seeing my surgeon for a couple of follow up appointments, he has said my bones have healed faster than he has predicted,” said Bell. “That’s why he said I should be back by June.”
Despite her injury, Bell hasn’t strayed away from her team or her sport completely. While maintaining her relationships with her friends and teammates, Bell has molded this new obstacle in her life into a mediation role between teammate and coach—being able to instruct and connect with players in an intimate way until she is back on her feet. On top of this, after arriving back on campus, Bell would commute with the team while using crutches to support her school, friends and teammates.
“I’m pretty much still active in a way,” said Bell. “I go to all the practices, I just don’t participate in their drills. I stand on the sidelines and do my stretches.”
Bell thanks her teammates and coaches for her speedy recovery, as she says that they fully support her rehab process and have been there every step of the way.
“My teammates and coaches have just been a great help overall,” said Bell. “Even as they see me progressing now they say, ‘oh that’s exciting that you’re able to jog now!’ and it’s just really helpful to me because I’m trying to get back; not only for myself but for my team.”