Jan. 14, 2005
By Jaclyn Ruiz
Media Relations Student Assistant
With only seconds left in the game, red-shirt junior guard Kayla Huss dribbles the basketball down the hardwood at women's basketball rival San Jose State. Noticing that her team is down by two she knows what she needs to do to seal the win. Weaving down the court with determination in her eyes she makes it just outside the three-point line and with 0.5 seconds left she sinks her shot as the Broncos win 75 to 74.
After taking last season off due to a medical injury that dates back to her sophomore season, it doesn't seem that Huss has missed a beat and her teammates are obviously glad to have her back.
"Her injury has worked as more of a motivation to work harder rather than a set back," said sophomore teammate Yasemin Kimyacioglu. "She plays really hard and contributes whether shooting or passing. She is a go-to player at crunch time."
When Huss was not cleared to play her junior season last year she was devastated. Though the end of her sophomore season had been painful because back injury, since she did not know what was wrong, she went through rehabilitation to prevent red-shirting. When she was not cleared to play, she had to start over from scratch and found out that over time, and due overexertion, she had developed a herniated disk and a stress fracture in her back.
"I honestly didn't know if I would play again," said Huss. "It was a really hard time for me with lots of ups and downs."
In her time off, Huss went through months of rehab before she even picked up a basketball. She was forced to sit on the bench and watch as her teammates played in games she wished she could be a part of. There were many times when she felt very discouraged but she is glad is back.
Born and raised in Spokane, Wash., Huss has been playing basketball since she was a little girl. In high school she received many honors for her outstanding achievements as a player, including the Washington-Oregon All-Star Team as well as Emerald City All-Star honors. She was named All-Wesco 4A all four years and first team All-State as a sophomore and senior.
Though she was nervous to get back on the court, "the team was really excited and welcoming as well as willing to help [her] in the areas where [she] is not up to par."
After the year hiatus, Huss was more than ready to finally get back on the court. "It is weird to be back on schedule while trying to get refocused," Huss added. "After experiencing an injury like mine it is still a struggle to feel comfortable on the court, knowing when to stop and when to press through the pain."
Her teammates are glad to have her back as well. "She is a good leader on and off the floor and it's so nice to have her with us to add all of her experience," said freshman forward Sara Majors.
According to head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson, the whole team is very eager to have Huss back in action. "We are excited to have Kayla and her tremendous abilities back with us for this season. She is an unbelievable outside shooter and has a great feel for the game."
Huss concluded her thoughts with the hopes of a great season with her teammates and that the Broncos get off to a great start. "I'm glad to be back on the court, contributing what I can to the team."