Jayla Bousquet was hoping to make her triumphant return to the hardcourt for the Brandon University Bobcats last week against the Winnipeg Wesmen.
Instead, her left knee swelled up a few days before she hoped to return to the BU women’s basketball team and now it appears the fifth-year guard/forward will end her career on the Bobcats’ bench. Bousquet recently learned that her doctor suspects her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) may be fully torn off, and she’s doesn’t think she will be back on the court this season.
"It’s just a matter of whether the swelling goes down by the end of the season, but chances are it won’t be down by the end of the season and it won’t be worth the risk of damaging my knee anymore," said Bousquet, an education student.
This season has been frustrating for the Portage la Prairie native, who averaged 10.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in conference action during her first four seasons with the Bobcats before taking the 2010-11 campaign off. Bousquet thought she would be able to play this season, only to get hurt in the pre-season. The swelling in her knee finally decreased after Christmas and Bousquet felt like she could play until it returned a week and a half ago.
Bobcats head coach Ritchie Jacobson was disappointed to hear Bousquet is done for the season, but he understands that she doesn’t want to risk doing more damage to her knee.
"For her personally, it would have been nice to see her get in a few games, being a fifth year," he said. "It’s disappointing we won’t have that leadership on the floor, but other people have to step up and we have to keep going."
Although she won’t be on the court for the rest of her final year of eligibility in the CIS, Bousquet will stick with the team and help out from the bench.
She will make one last appearance on the court on Feb. 3 when the Bobcats host the Lethbridge Pronghorns. During halftime of the men’s game, Bousquet will be shooting free throws to raise money for breast cancer research as part of the Bobcats’ Shoot for the Cure weekend. She is taking pledges for every shot she makes in one minute.
Bousquet admitted shooting free throws for charity isn’t the way she wanted to end her playing career, but she knows there’s nothing she can do about it.
"Obviously I wanted to finish off my career with some basketball games, but I just have to face reality and accept what happened," she said. "You can’t really dwell on it too much. … At least I’ll get to shoot for (breast cancer research) and be part of the game there."