BYU dual-sport athlete making most of recovery

Sara Hamson is still finding ways to help both the volleyball and basketball teams after suffering a torn meniscus. (BYU Photo)

Injuries can be a major factor in determining athletes’ success in their respective sports. For BYU’s Sara Hamson, her knee injury has affected her playing time both in volleyball and basketball.

The 6-foot-7-inch women’s basketball center and women’s volleyball outside hitter suffered her injury before the volleyball season even began. Regardless of the setback, BYU women’s volleyball head coach Heather Olmstead said Hamson has been working hard on her road to recovery.

“Sara’s doing a great job,” Olmstead said. “She’s working hard and improving every day, and we’re excited to get her back next season.”

Center Sara Hamson goes for a layup in a game against the Pacific Tigers on Jan. 6, 2018. (BYU Photo)

Hamson tore her meniscus just two weeks before the start of the 2018 volleyball campaign and underwent surgery that same week. Although she hasn’t played this season, Hamson said she is thankful for how the volleyball team has supported her, and that she tries to give some of that support back.

“I feel like team culture and energy is an important part of any team,” Hamson said. “This team is so good at that and at being inclusive even though I’m injured. I’ve just been trying to help reciprocate that positive energy.”

Hamson made the most of her freshman year at BYU, recording 27 kills and 13 block assists. She played in 15 matches, four of which she started. Hamson was just as dominant while playing at Pleasant Grove High School, where she had a total of 612 kills and 215 blocks and was named to multiple All-State and All-Region teams.

Although Hamson will likely not see any playing time this season on the volleyball court, she is already easing back into the rotation for the basketball team.

Hamson led the nation in blocks per game during the 2017-18 basketball season with 4.4. (BYU Photo)

After missing the first two games, Hamson made her basketball debut this season against Eastern Washington on Nov. 17, tallying three rebounds and two assists in just seven minutes of play.

“It was good to see her out there, make some plays and get some confidence,” Cougars head coach Jeff Judkins said after the game. “When she comes back to full strength we’re really deep.”

Hamson has since played in the following five games for the Cougars, and is averaging 2.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and one block per game.

Hamson was dominant for BYU during her freshman year, leading the nation with 4.4 blocks per game and being named the 2017-18 WCC Defensive Player of the Year. Her 112 total blocks on the season were the most ever by a freshman in program history. During her senior year at Pleasant Grove High, Hamson averaged 13.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 7.5 blocks per game.

Former high school and now current basketball teammate Malli Valgardson talked about how exciting it’s been to see Hamson back out on the court.

“It’s seriously been the best,” Valgardson said. “Getting the ‘twin towers’ back together has been (great).”

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