Story and Photos By Angie Flatt
Heywood Broun, a journalist in the early 1900s, was once quoted as saying “Sports do not build character. They reveal it.”
Portland High School senior Mac Craddock proves this quote to be true.
Craddock has played soccer and basketball all four years of high school and has the scars to prove it.
Just a few weeks ago, she suffered an injury during a home basketball game, tearing her meniscus and ACL in her right leg.
Unfortunately, this was not her first experience with a torn ACL. During a sophomore year soccer game, she tore the ACL in her left leg. So when it happened again, she knew what to expect.
Craddock said of her most recent injury, “I knew exactly what had happened when I landed.”
She said she began to panic a bit and the trainer tried to calm her, saying she’d be just fine and got her off the basketball court.
Craddock knew it was torn because it was the same feeling she had just two years before during that soccer game.
Craddock is well aware of the journey she is beginning again.
“For better results, they say you have to go to physical therapy and try to get full range of motion in your leg (before having surgery),” she said.
Right now, she is going through that painful process.
“Last time, I went (to physical therapy) for two weeks and then had surgery,” she said. “But this leg has been worse. I’ve had more swelling. I had my two-week checkup last week and it wasn’t good enough. I’m going again next week to see if we can schedule it soon.”
But physical therapy and surgery is just the beginning.
“Last time, it was 71/2 months, but I rushed a bit so I could go to basketball camp,” she said. “I went to physical therapy more often then. I think it will be longer this time since I’m not going back to anything else.”
The silver lining to Craddock’s injury is that it has helped her know what career path to take.
“I’d like to go to Tennessee Tech to become an orthopedic physician’s assistant,” she said. “I thought about physical therapy for a while, but my current doctor is a physician’s assistant, and talked to me about it and how I could even intern for him, and get better insight into it.”
Craddock is maintaining a positive attitude about her injuries, past and present, and does not regret one single thing about her choice to play sports.
When asked if she would do it all over again knowing what she knows now, she said, “Oh, yeah. Basketball is the love of my life.”
She recalls, “I was so sad my sophomore year because I missed everything. I injured myself in soccer and didn’t even get to start in basketball season. I had to sit on the bench. This year, I think it was easier because the season was almost over and I didn’t have to watch them play so many games without me. I would definitely play both soccer and basketball again.”
But it’s not just about the game itself for Craddock.
“I just feel like you get a lot out of sports; friendships that last forever,” she said. “It was a good experience. I’m glad that I still stuck with it even after my first injury. It was definitely worth it.”