MEDFORD—South Medford High School, the Southwest Conference and basketball fans across southern Oregon will have to wait another year for the arrival of Donovyn Hunter.
The middle school basketball phenom that’s already drawn interest from major Division I universities suffered a torn ACL in April while practicing with her AAU team.
She’s been ruled out for the entirety of the 2019-2020 season.
"I stole the ball and it was just one-on-one and I was just going to the hoop,” Hunter said. “As soon as I was about to go up, my knee just grinded against each other I guess and I fell and that was that… The trainer told me it was just a sprain, so I'm thinking I'll just lay out four weeks, get better and come back, but then we took an MRI and it was worse."
Hunter had surgery to repair her ACL and meniscus at the start of the month, and now embarks on the rehab process—physical therapy twice a week with a recovery timeline between nine months and a year and a half.
Just a few months away from beginning preparations for her freshman season, Hunter said she’s devastated she'll have to sit out.
But as one of the top-rated girls basketball prospects in the country, the decision to hold her out for the entire season was done with the goal of protecting her future.
"It's the wise move to stay out this year and let her recover, rebuild, train on the side and get back into playing,” said Chad Dybdahl, her physical therapist.
Dybdahl added there’s no indication at this point that Hunter won’t return to her previous level of play and strength.
Tune into NewsWatch 12 at 6 on Thursday for a complete look at Hunter’s rehab process.