Ben Malakoff, Contributing Writer
Many Women’s Basketball fans looked forward to seeing redshirt-freshman guard Madison Hattix-Covington play for the Rams last season after she was ranked one of the top-40 guards in the nation out of high school.
But a foot injury quickly ended last season’s hopes — she redshirted the year. Hattix-Covington watched a disappointing 7-22 Women’s Basketball season.
“It was very difficult mentally and physically,” Hattix-Covington said. “It was very hard [to recover]. At first, I couldn’t do anything.”
While her teammates practiced on the court or in the weight room, Hattix-Covington could only work to recover from her injury.
“When I could recover, it was underwater treadmill, weights, balance to get my foot back stable,” Hattix-Covington said. “Then I had to get my right leg back even with left leg because loss of weight.”
Since her recovery, Hattix-Covington has played a big role on the team as she comes off the bench.
“Our bench players, we play a big role,” Hattix-Covington said. “Our starters, they can’t play full a game, they get tired. And our bench production, we can’t go in if the starters do good and [we] give up points.”
But against Saint Louis Jan. 27, Hattix-Covington was finally given the opportunity she had been waiting for over a year. Coach Beth O’Boyle gave Hattix-Covington her first career collegiate start.
“I was very nervous for the first game,” Hattix-Covington said. “But after the first minute, I think I calmed down and got into it.”
Hattix-Covington started because Reed was injured, who she normally replaced off the bench. Reed is also the teammate Hattix-Covington said helps her the most.
“We play the same position,” Hattix-Covington said. “Just playing behind her. Coming on the court, she’ll tell me where to go.”
Hattix-Covington also gives a lot of credit to O’Boyle who kept her involved even during her season-ending foot injury.
“She has been a big influence,” Hattix-Covington said. “Even before I was in the boot, she always made sure I was involved in practice in some way. And now that I’m out of it, she makes sure I am good with my foot all the time. Makes sure I am going to rehab if I need to. She is always pushing me and telling me I am doing good.”
The road to recovery for Hattix-Covington was a difficult period. But since then, the transition from last season has been trouble-free.
“It’s been pretty smooth,” Hattix-Covington said. “I got cleared when I got back during the summer. Those were my first official workouts with the team being 100 percent cleared. So I think it went pretty smooth going in.”