Cavs’ iron lady
STATION HILL almost didn’t get their title back this season.
That, and their best player.
Overseas-based pro Jamila Studer confessed she very nearly missed out on another local women’s basketball championship series after suffering though an injury-riddled season in Switzerland this year.
Studer admitted she thought about not playing while revealing the extent of her injuries in an interview with SATURDAY SUN recently.
“It was really a rough season [because] that was the most injuries I’ve ever had in one season in my life, so coming to play [the finals] with one day’s rest was a miracle,” said the 31-year-old forward.
“In September, a girl pushed into my knee and dislocated it, so I was out for 12 days. Then I had inflammation in my heels in October and in November a girl broke my nose in two places, so I had to get surgery in December. January, it was my knee again and then in February I tore a ligament in my heel.
“[But] I had a lot of motivating factors that helped me to go out there, as well as God, of course, because I couldn’t do it myself,” she acknowledged.
The mounting injuries threatened to put a further major damper on Studer’s spirits after the national forward was already unavailable for two previous league finals – both of which the then ten-time champs lost to Clapham Bulls.
And even with her return, Station Hill still threatened to throw away a third straight title as former Bulls Toni Atherley, Sade Clarke and Jennifer Joseph-Hackett helped UWI Blackbirds to force a Game 3 against the Cavs before rallying for a third-quarter lead in that decider.
But Studer slammed the door shut in the fourth, hooking up with Maria Cumberbatch to ignite the decisive 14-6 run that transformed a tight 48-44 nail-biter into a sizeable 62-50 cushion.
“I just thrive when there is good competition, and Blackbirds have very good players who play well together with great coaches, so this was really a big challenge,” said Studer, who was adjudged the finals MVP after averaging a series-best 21 points.
“It also helped that I felt horrible I couldn’t help them the last few years, so it feels good to be able to turn that around now.”
The silver lining in Studer’s dark cloud didn’t end with Station Hill’s championship, though, as the professional forward revealed that Swiss club Ovronnaz-Martigny Basket decided to resign her to another 12-month contract.
“Somehow they still want me to come back even though I had so many injuries. I guess they’ve seen something in me,” she said.
Studer is currently preparing to lead the lady Cavs in next Saturday’s knockout title game against the same UWI Blackbirds.