Sometimes life throws you an unexpected curve ball. You might be laid off from your dream job. Or perhaps, suffering from the aftermath of the death of a loved one. Whatever the situation, overcoming hardship is well, hard.
However, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” This timeless proverb rings true to many, including Washington Mystics draftee, Rebecca Greenwell. The 23-year-old recent WNBA draftee suffered two ACL tears in high school, both of which limited her physically and sidelined her but also mentally as they instilled fear of jeopardizing her basketball career.
“I had two ACL tears in high school (junior and senior year) that, at the time, were devastating,” Greenwell tells The Zone. “I had people tell me I may never play again, and that if I did, I would never be as good as I was.”
This may have been the lowest moment of her career but also one of the most pivotal moments of it as it was during this time that Rebecca committed to proving the naysayers wrong and overcoming the obstacle with a positive attitude and great work ethic that she learned at a young age when she started playing basketball at the age of six.
You see, basketball didn’t run in Rebecca’s family. It was simply her passion— one she dedicated her summers to by playing in AAU tournaments and going to college basketball and high exposure camps to develop her skills and advance her level of play. Through basketball, Greenwell learned the impact that hard work and a positive mindset have. So when it came to her injuries, she knew how to handle it.
“After almost a year of rehab each injury – I came back stronger and made the USA U17 national team then proceeded to have a successful career at Duke University. At Duke I had two more knee surgeries and one back surgery, but even so I set the career record at Duke for most career 3’s and went on to be drafted into the WNBA to the Washington Mystics,” Greenwell continues. “By focusing on the things I could control and maintaining a positive attitude I was able to be successful at my sport and in life. Setbacks are only a set up for a come back!”
Not only did Rebecca come back; she won a gold medal and tournament MVP with Team USA!
Greenwell’s story of overcoming adversity is just one of many and one that we hope resonates with others dealing with adversity. For her, she learned this important lesson through sports but basketball is just another court in life. The lessons learned through sports translate into everyday life. Which is exactly why Greenwell advises, “with a good work ethic and great attitude, everything else will fall into place”.