MISSOULA, MT - Montana’s Kayleigh Valley will not be returning to the court this year for the Lady Griz, after suffering a season-ending knee injury for the second straight year.
Valley first tore her ACL last year on Oct 10 and reinjured the same knee at Montana’s practice on Friday. An MRI on Tuesday confirmed the extent of the injury.
“We’re all just brokenhearted for Kayleigh,” said Women’s Basketball Head Coach Shannon Schweyen. “She did everything right in the process of coming back. She didn’t push it. She waited almost a full calendar year and tested great. She’ll be able to look back and not have any regrets about the way she approached coming back to be on the floor for the Lady Griz.”
In 2015-16 during Valley’s junior year, she had one of the most impressive and unsurpassed individual seasons in Montana and Big Sky Conference history. She led the league in scoring with 21.9 points a game and was voted first-team All-Big Sky.
“I truly believe she was one of the most prolific players in Big Sky Conference history,” said Schweyen. “What she did her junior year was a glimpse of what everyone was hoping to see more of. She was so difficult to guard with her ability to play inside and outside, and her strength around the basket.”
Valley broke her coach’s single-season program record of 668 points with a whopping 678 - unbroken digits since 1990-91. It was the third-highest total ever in NCAA women’s basketball history.
The Montana marketing graduate spent all of last season rehabbing. Valley was given full medical clearance in July, nine months following her surgery.
“I want to thank everyone for their continued love and support throughout this process,” expressed Valley. “And I want to thank all the fans for sticking with this program through all the ups and downs.”