Not allowed. Off limits. Banned. That is all that Alyssa could focus on as she sat in the exam room listening to Dr. Mo discuss her restrictions after her injury. She was told it would be safest to sit out of basketball until she is fully recovered. Alyssa did not feel like this concussion was that bad, and she would know, this was her third traumatic brain injury (TBI) before her 15th birthday. But that is exactly why serious precautions needed to be taken.
Her most recent TBI was during a basketball game when she was making a drive to the hoop and got sandwiched between two players resulting in her being flipped and landing on her head. She got checked out by the trainer and since she was not experiencing any major symptoms, went back into the game. Soon after, she started to get headaches and became dizzy.
Even though this concussion was not the worst one that Alyssa had experienced, the recovery still had its challenges. She had more vision issues and had to get glasses to help with her convergence. She also struggled with dysautonomia which held her back from participating in full practices. Alyssa did not let this stop her from reaching her dreams. She said, at first, she would have to distract herself from not being able to play, but soon she realized she had to put her mind into her recovery so she could return to the court. Not playing just wasn’t an option for Alyssa.
Alyssa has just been cleared from her third concussion. After each injury, she wants to continue to come back and see Dr. Mo because he is so understanding and supportive. Being an athlete himself, he knows how challenging it can be to not be a part of the game.
Alyssa has a lot of basketball ahead of her. She just finished her freshman year at Sahuaro and plays for the Tucson Spartans club basketball team. This summer, she has plans to play in multiple tournaments on both her school and club team, including some that college scouts will be attending. Her goal is to be able to compete at the next level, just like her grandfather (pictured). The SPARCC family is excited to watch Alyssa grow over the next few years here in Tucson and see what comes next for the Sophomore standout.