By RYAN VANDERSLOOT
Injuries are part of the risk of playing a sport.
One never knows when a freak play, a tough pivot or a mere accident may occur that turns a player’s path upside down.
Such was the case for former York Catholic basketball standout Kady Schrann. Highly coveted by many NCAA Division I universities during her time with the Fighting Irish, Schrann settled on Vanderbilt.
During her first year at Vanderbilt, things seemed on track. Schrann’s playing time was growing and she was turning into a valuable asset for the Commodores on the court. She was even named to the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team.
Then the dreaded injury bug hit. An ankle injury — the first of many as it would turn out — occurred just before her sophomore season and set off a domino-like effect. Never one to quit on her team, Schrann played through the injury as best as she could, but she never fully recovered. She spent considerable time away from her teammates while rehabbing her injuries.
As it turned out, those hours came at a cost to her level of enjoyment. On the court, she was no longer the happy young woman with a smile on her face — a vision many York Catholic fans can remember. Something had to change.
That something came about earlier this year. Schrann began the process of seeking out a fresh start at a new school in February. Looking to rekindle her excitement, Schrann stumbled upon exactly what she was looking for while watching an NCAA tournament game between Florida Gulf Coast and Oklahoma State in March.
While the No. 12-seeded Eagles couldn’t quite pull off an upset that day, Schrann knew that FCGU was the place she wanted to be. So she began the process of transferring and finally made it official in early June, when she officially enrolled at FGCU.
With the ankle injuries finally behind her, Schrann’s enjoyment on the court is again off the charts. She is eager to do her part for an Eagles squad that finished 26-8 last year, including a 17-1 mark in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
We caught up with Schrann recently for this edition of Sports Q&A.
Q: What were the major factors in your decision to leave Vanderbilt for Florida Golf Coast University?
A: The major factor in my decision … was my level of happiness. From my freshman year to my sophomore year I was enjoying everything I was doing. Then when I got hurt and it set me apart from the team. … My sophomore year I played hurt and then my junior year, after surgery, I finally felt 100 percent. However, the happiness I used to feel with the people surrounding me was gone and I knew I needed to take charge and change something.”
Q: When did you decide to transfer?
A: “I decided to transfer close to the end of my junior year, before the season was over sometime around February.”
Q: How did you find out about FGCU?
A: “I found FGCU after I narrowed my search down to a school in the south. I knew I did not want to go further north than my house in Pennsylvania and I did not want to go west. I started to look in Florida and saw FGCU play against Oklahoma State in the NCAA tournament. Although they lost, the team looked like they were having so much fun and played with so much passion.”
Q: Were there any other schools you considered?
A: “I also considered James Madison.”
Q: How did your family feel about the transfer?
A: “They just wanted me to be happy. They saw the change in me and knew that whatever decision I made was going to be the right one. They supported me every step of the way.”
Q: How did your coach and teammates at Vanderbilt feel?
A: “My teammates wanted what I thought was best for me, although it was sad to leave. My coaches wanted me to do what was best for me as well.”
Q: When did you actually enroll and become a student at FGCU?
A: “I became a student the first week of June.”
Q: What is your role expected to be when you regain your eligibility for the 2015 season?
A: “It will be whatever Coach (Karl) Smesko needs. I may be point guard and I may be a shooting guard. I know he will put me in a position where I will be able to help the team as much as I can.”
Q: With the one-year transfer rule forcing you to have to sit out next year, what will you be doing in that time?
A: “I will be working on learning the offenses and defenses of the team. I will continue to work on getting stronger and working on my shot at the same time. I will also be cheering the girls to victory during workouts, practices and games.”
Q: And how tough do you think that will be for you to be unable to compete for a whole season?
A: “I think it will be pretty tough, but I had a glimpse of the feeling when I had to sit out most of my sophomore year. It will be a challenge, but I will do all that I can to help the team, whether it be through preparing them in practice or simply cheering my heart out on the bench.”
Q: That said, how excited are you about the transfer and why?
A: “I am very excited because it is something new and it was a decision I made based on what I wanted. So far I have been here for three weeks and each day I get happier and happier with my decision.”
— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.