According to Curt Rallo of the South Bend Tribune, the Notre Dame senior tore her left ACL last night in Notre Dame's 88-69 win over Baylor:
Natalie Achonwa @NatAchon was averaging 20.5 pts., 9 rebs., A& was hitting 71 % of her shots in 4 NCAA games.— Curt Rallo (@rallo_NDinsider) April 1, 2014
Sources tells S.B. Tribune that Natalie Achonwa @NatAchon ACL recovery time 6-9 months, impacting her prospective WNBA career.— Curt Rallo (@rallo_NDinsider) April 1, 2014
The Fighting Irish are undefeated at 36-0, and this is a considerable blow to their national title hopes, considering that the Connecticut Huskies have Breanna Stewart and Stefanie Dolson on their frontcourt.
And with Achnowa now out for the rest of her college career, and perhaps even this summer, what kind of an impact would this have on her WNBA draft position? Hopefully, at least for her, it won't.
I actually was writing something about a moment last night in the game right after her injury as this report broke, but this moment was really positive, so I'm going to talk about it right now to conclude this post.
Normally when a star player is injured in front of her home crowd, the crowd gets silent, and often that star player may not have a particularly great exit or last moment walking away from the court, if she can at all.
But Achonwa made sure that that silence didn't happen for long after her injury and she was able to walk like a boss. Just watch this Instagram video clip below (Language isn't PG):
Even though Achonwa never played again in the Baylor game, this is the best way to leave under the circumstances. And that is so badass right there. Not to mention she did get to cut the nets on her own as you can see in the picture for this post.
And here's one last tweet I'd like to share:
Report is that Natalie Achonwa is out w/ACL tear. At least she left @ndwbb with a rallying cry: "Win this s---!" T-shirts?— Greg Aiello (@gregaiello) April 1, 2014
I'd like to buy one!
Update at 4:05 p.m. ET - Notre Dame has confirmed that Achonwa's left ACL is torn. Here's Head Coach Muffet McGraw's statement on it:
Natalie has been an extremely valuable contributor to our success, not only this season but throughout her career, and that won't change. While she may not be in uniform, her voice will be heard loud and clear in the locker room, on the bench and in the huddle. I know that our team is going to continue to feed off her energy, passion and leadership as we head into the Final Four.
Now, GO WIN THIS S***!