After tearing her ACL a second time just six months ago, Cierra Davis was given the go-ahead from her doctor to join the Annawan Bravettes basketball team.|
The No. 2 ranked team in Class 1A will begin its charge toward a state championship on Wednesday in the regional semifinals and the junior will be available to play.
"I'm going to take it slow and not force it," said Davis who transferred from Alleman in December. "I'm so excited to get back on the court in uniform. I'm going to do whatever coach wants me to do."
What coach Jason Burkiewicz wants is to ease her into the game.
"She's not going to play big minutes like she will next year," Burkiewicz said. "We've been succeeding all year, so really I see her as helping us out a few minutes here and a few minutes there. When Megan (Foes) or Celina (VanHyfte) get winded I can see her filling in there."
Burkiewicz added he would also use her at the end of games in free-throw shooting situations, as she has been able to keep up her form throughout the injury, practicing free throws.
Since transferring, Cierra, along with sister Dominique, who was ruled ineligible to play after the transfer, have been on the Bravettes bench cheering Annawan to a 24-2 record.
"They've brought a lot of personality to the team. They're always going crazy on the bench," Burkiewicz said. "I wasn't sure how it was going to work out, but they've all really jelled together."
Davis, like anyone coming off an injury, is antsy to get back to playing full speed. However, she's aware of her past and is cautious about having the same injury a dreaded third time.
"It's a constant worry, but at the same time I'm going to try and be fearless," Davis said. "I really don't want to rush it, but it felt great today at practice."
Davis had been cleared to start running and conditioning earlier this year, but is still not in normal end-of-season form.
"We approached it as if we wouldn't have either of the girls all season so to have anything is a bonus," Burkiewicz said. "Her mom told me how much of a competitor she is and she's worried about her doing too much so we're going to keep an eye on her."
Burkiewicz won't be the only one. Adding someone with Davis' talent to one of the already top teams in the state is going to turn more than a couple heads.
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