SAN ANTONIO – Two major knee injuries can end a professional athlete’s career, but for a local Roosevelt High School student, she uses them as motivation.
Hyson overcame an anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus tear to thrive in her senior season and earn her way to play at the next level.
“I’ve seen some things on the court where I’m like wow, I didn’t think she had that in her,” Drevon Stanford, Kemara’s brother, said.
On the court, her family admits they are overprotective.
“We just had graduation yesterday, so I’m not trying to get emotional that’s another thing, she’s leaving me,” Stanford said.
Kemara is a leader on her team and has been since her sophomore year.
“She does that through her work ethic, the way that she approaches practices and games,” Rob Rheinberger, Kemara’s coach, said.
“I’m proud of her, she’s a hard worker especially with her injury,” Stanford said.
It’s an injury Kemara and her family can never forget.
“I tried to run, to get it before it was out of bounds on us and I just remember taking one step and my knee just buckled. I don’t remember grabbing the ball or any of that, I just remember laying on the floor going crazy,” Kemara said.
“She went after the ball, nobody around her and planted two feet from me and then she went down immediately and we knew actually, I just told her brother when she went down I looked at my assistant coach and told her it’s going to be a long season,” Rheinberger said.
She thought her career was derailed but she didn’t give up hope, rehabbing twice a day and working harder than even to get back on the court.
“I was pretty sad we are pretty sad because of her trajectory she was you know making great strides working out hard,” Stanford said.
Then it happened again.
“The second time I got hurt was a bucket tear in my meniscus and I was just crying in my room that night asking why,” Kemara said.
At that point, the easy route would have been to give up but thats not who Kemara is.
“I wanted to quit but I knew that I had promised my grandpa that I’ll buy him a house with maids in it and everything so I knew I couldn’t, I couldn’t get down so after that I had surgery and we started all over again,” Kemara said.
She returned stronger than ever in body and mind.
“It’s so hard to come back from a back injury you don’t know what kind of player you’re going to be and after the physical part, it’s then mental,” Stanford said.
“What she did was remarkable in terms of two knee injuries, not many kids come back from that and she actually came back better, which is a testament to her,” Rheinberger said.
In the aftermath of two major knee injuries Kemara’s perseverance, work ethic and leadership inspire others.
“She taught them how to work and how to have a positive outlook and still be able to influence your team and your program and your school even when you’re injured,” Rheinberger said.
Now she has words of wisdom for anyone who goes through something like she did.
“Show everybody what you’re made of, you’re stronger than what you think you are... that’s what this injury has really shown me,” Kemara said.
As for her future, this fall she is set to play point guard at Jacksonville College and has big plans on the horizon.
“I wouldn’t even put a ceiling on her, nothing she would do would surprise me,” Rheinberger said.