For some time, evidently, there has been an “epidemic” of ACL injuries occurring to female athletes, especially, according to one orthopedic clinic, those playing basketball, gymnastics, and soccer. That same source says that “female athletes have four to 10 times more ACL injuries than male athletes have” and goes on to discuss some of the theories that have been offered to explain this.
The Michigan women’s basketball program is feeling the effects of this epidemic as two of the four members of the 2012 recruiting class have suffered season-ending torn ACLs during their senior campaigns. Rebecca Lyttle of Florida’s Hollywood Christian school went down with a torn ACL in December, and then on February 11 Symone Denham of Columbus’s Northland High School (the same school Trey Burke attended) suffered a torn ACL and an injured MCL and will be undergoing surgery on February 29. (Best of luck to both of them in their surgery/rehab.)
On top of that, last spring in a postseason all-star game, Aquashia Anderson, a member of the 2011 U-M class, tore an ACL and ended up redshirting her freshman season. So, three out of Michigan’s eight signees in the 2011 and 2012 classes have suffered torn ACLs during their senior year of high school.
The epidemic also hit the U-M squad last season when Nya Jordan’s season ended in late December with a torn ACL. It took her well into the current season before she had fully recovered.
It seems like the Michigan women’s basketball program is challenging Purdue’s supremacy as ACL “U”.
This is not a new commitment for the Michigan women’s basketball team, but it’s one that I don’t believe has been noted here before. Rebecca Lyttle is a 5-foot-11 forward for Hollywood Christian (Hollywood, Florida), who committed some time ago to the Maize and Blue. Lyttle, pictured in the middle in the photo below, will be a member of the 2012 class.
During her junior season, Lyttle averaged 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists per game. She led Hollywood Christian to a 31-1 record and a 1A state title, and the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches named her the 1A Player of the Year. Although 1A is the “lowest” of Florida’s six basketball divisions, Hollywood Christian was considered one of the best teams in the country, earning a spot in ESPN Rise’s 2011 National High School Invitational. During the season, the team also had some notable victories, including defeating 6A powerhouse Lake Mary in the championship game of the Junior Orange Bowl Classic. Lyttle had 24 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 steals in that game.
A preseason profile of Hollywood Christian published in the Miami Herald in November 2010 offers some more insight into Lyttle:
About the only role Hollywood Christian basketball standout Rebecca Lyttle didn't fill for the Eagles last season was collecting ticket stubs before the game and selling popcorn at halftime.
Thrust into a new role as point-forward under then-first-year coach Carlos Adamson, the 5-11 Lyttle averaged 13.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists in leading the Eagles to their third consecutive state final four appearance.
“Rebecca does it all for us.” Adamson said. “She runs point guard. I'm going to put her on the opposing team's best player. I know she will get to the basket and finish. She will block shots and rebound. We go through her.”
Lyttle will be part of a 2012 class that also includes two in-staters: Kelsey Mitchell and Madison Ristovski, both of whom are likely Miss Basketball contenders. Mitchell is a 6-foot-1 forward from Inkster who was recruited to Michigan with an assist from Devin Gardner; she led Inkster to the Class A state title this past season and was a second-team Class A all-stater. Ristovski is a 5-foot-10 point guard for Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett who led her team to the Class C state finals, where they lost to incoming U-M freshman Nicole Elmblad’s St. Ignace team. Ristovski was a first-team all-stater in Class C and was also named to the Detroit News Girls Basketball Dream Team. A nice profile of her from a local paper can be found here.
This is shaping up to be a very good class for Kevin Borseth, who has room to add one more player. For those who may have missed it, Borseth also received a commitment earlier this week from Taylor Gleason, who will be part of the 2013 class.