OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. — Reigning East Coast Conference Rookie of the Year Meg Knollmeyer will miss the 2017-18 women's basketball season after undergoing knee surgery.
Knollmeyer suffered a completely torn right anterior cruciate ligament, as well as tears to her meniscus and sprained lateral and medial collateral ligaments, while practicing on Sept. 19. She underwent surgery three weeks later in her native New Hampshire.
The silver lining: Because the injury happened during a preseason practice and not in-season, Knollmeyer should have three full seasons of eligibility remaining.
A health and wellness major as an undergraduate, Knollmeyer intended to remain at NYIT for a fifth year to pursue a master's degree in nutrition. So now she will be able to play with the Bears during that 2020-21 season.
Knollmeyer averaged 14.8 points and 10.9 rebounds per game as a freshman last season — both team highs. The rebounding total led Division II freshmen nationally, 0.7 ahead of runner-up Morgan Greene of Cal State East Bay. Knollmeyer also led Division II freshmen with 18 double-doubles. In addition to earning the ECC Rookie of the Year Award, she also was a third-team All-ECC selection, the ECAC Rookie of the Year, Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Division II Rookie of the Year and the NYIT Athletics freshman woman athlete of the year.
"The awards that I got were more than expected," Knollmeyer said.
Knollmeyer suggested she did not recognize the full severity of the injury when it occurred, although the NYIT staff knew right away.
"I dribbled up the side, and I went to turn and pass it, and my right foot just didn't spin with the rest of my body," Knollmeyer said. "I've never had a bad injury before, so I didn't know. But the coaches told my dad they heard a pop. And they knew from how I reacted. And the athletic trainers knew by the way I described it — really painful, then the pain goes, then it comes. That's one of the signs."
Minus Knollmeyer, NYIT nonetheless nearly upset Division I Rhode Island in an exhibition game on Nov. 5. The Bears then defeated Adelphi on Sunday on a buzzer-beating layup by Tiara Place. The additions of Maia Hood and Corinn Baggs from Division I programs have helped offset Knollmeyer's loss.
As for being relegated to being a cheerleader from the bench, Knollmeyer added: "It's disappointing watching everyone get hyped up before the game. Watching it, I'm sad I'm not out there. I've never been a 'cheerer' on the bench. But I feel like now I'm more verbal."