KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas State women’s basketball coach Jeff Mittie said last week that true freshman Jada Thorpe will miss the 2019-20 season.
At Big 12 women’s basketball media day Tuesday, Mittie revealed the nature of the injury: Thorpe ruptured her Achilles and will require a significant rehabilitation period before returning to the court.
“It’s going to be a long process for her,” Mittie said. “She’s got the Achilles ruptured, and so she had surgery. How long? I think it’s anywhere from eight months to a year. For a young person, for an 18-year-old, that’s not a normal injury usually. So maybe hers can be quicker just because she’s got youth on her side.”
While Mittie said Thorpe was disappointed, he believes her work ethic is strong, especially for a freshman. Thorpe gets up more shots than anybody on the team sans sophomore Laura Macke, Mittie said. Thorpe was almost always one of the last players in the gym.
“This girl knows how to work,” Mittie said, “and if she can attack her rehab the same way — she surprised us in that area quite honestly; most freshmen don’t have the time management to do that, but she does — if she can attack that rehab with the same vigor that she did this summer, she will be fine.”
Keeping Thorpe busy will be a priority for the Wildcats in ensuring her recovery is stable and healthy, both physically and mentally.
Mittie and the Wildcats are having Thorpe share film sessions with grad-transfer Angela Harris.
Harris will take over much of the point guard duties this season, and that would help Thorpe remain involved in how the offense plays.
“Being away from home for the first time and just having things in your life that are hard, then you have an injury that is hard,” Mittie said. “She’s got great teammates, and I really think she’s gelled with the teammates. She’ll go through some rough times here, and I think one of the things we always do with an injury is to keep them engaged.”