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Shaylee Gonzales shoots a 3-pointer over a Bulldogs defender during BYU’s win over Gonzaga on Jan. 17. (Claire Gentry)

The women’s basketball team will have to alter their strategy this coming season as Shaylee Gonzales, one of the team’s star players, recovers from an injury that occurred mid-July.

Gonzales, last year’s Female Rookie of the Year for BYU women’s basketball, will miss the 2019-20 season as she recovers from a recent ACL and lateral meniscus tear. With the team’s top shooter out for the season, there have been questions regarding BYU’s success and ability to re-enter the NCAA tournament later this year. 

On July 18, Gonzales underwent surgery on an injury that occurred during practice a few days prior. Although the surgery was successful, the 19-year-old will be unable to play in the upcoming basketball season.

“When I tore my ACL I was heartbroken and very upset,” Gonzales said. “I never expected it to happen … especially after the freshman season I had and trying out for Team USA. I was on cloud nine. When this happened, it was really hard for me to process.”

Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo
Shaylee Gonzales adds to her season-high 32 point game against Stanford on March 25. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

With an average of 17 points-per-game during her freshman season, and ranking second among her teammates in total rebounds and steals, this sophomore star will be sorely missed on the Cougar’s court this October. 

Of her recovery, Gonzales said her knee is feeling a lot stronger and that her walking and range of motion are great. During team practices, she can be found in rehab with her trainer, icing and elevating her knee and cheering on her teammates from the bench. 

“We still have a lot of talent (on the team), and I believe in them, that they will have success and go far,” Gonzales said. “My expectations are high, and I have all the confidence in our team to do big things” 

The 2019-20 schedule has yet to be announced, but fans are eager to see many of the same players return for this season. The starting lineup will likely include returning players Paisley Johnson, Maria Albiero, Brenna Chase and Sara Hamson.

While Gonzales will not be included in the starting five, her determination to return in 2020 has not lessoned.

“This injury is a minor setback and there will be a major comeback, mark my words,” Gonzales said. 

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