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Humphrey resisting urge to play while rehabbing injury
Gainesville High graduate Tasha Humphrey, seen here as a member of the Minnesota Lynx, is currently rehabbing from a knee injury that sidelined her for an entire season in China. - photo by McClatchy Newspapers

Tasha Humphrey has no doubts she'll be right back in the ranks of the WNBA and women's professional basketball before long, it'll just take some time given the nature of her injury last year.

After a tear in her right Achillies tendon during a pickup basketball game last September, she's still months away from getting the go-ahead to resume her career from doctors. She hopes to have full clearance to get back on the court in time to play overseas this fall.

"I definitely want to come back and play again," Humphrey said. "I'm just getting over that last hump right now."

For the time being, Humphrey, a Gainesville High grad and four-time All-American at the University of Georgia, is completing physical rehabilitation at Georgia and living in Athens. She's also teaching basketball lessons to young players who are as interested in the sport as she was as a kid growing up in Gainesville.

Humphrey's love for the game and desire to groom young players in the game comes directly from her mother, Brenda Hill-Gilmore, who's coached for years and is the first-year head coach with the Gainesville High girls program.

"Everyone deserves a good life, and basketball has opened so many doors for me in my life," Humphrey said. "So many folks in Gainesville helped me growing up and I want to be able to help girls that have the same goals."

When Humphrey sustained her leg injury, she knew exactly what happened when she heard the popping sound in her leg. It happened just by pushing off of that right leg while in the middle of a game with fellow WNBA players at a gym in Atlanta. Surgery was scheduled for the following day, which kept her from playing the fall season as expected in China.

The only thing Humphrey, the second leading scorer in Lady Bulldogs history with 2,272 points, didn't know was how cumbersome recovery was going to be. Luckily, she has the facilities of the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall at Georgia where she can go through the training to help build strength and help prevent further injury.

Humphrey says getting hurt again will be the furthest thing from her mind when she gets back on the floor.

"I learned early that the more you play scared, the more likely an injury is going to happen again," Humphrey said.

Humphrey wants to play both overseas and in the WNBA, which do not overlap one another, when medical clearance finally comes. She's leaving all those details of where she plays to her agent.

"The only problem with playing overseas is a lack of rest," Humphrey said.

As the 11th overall pick by the Detroit Shock in the 2008 WNBA Draft, Humphrey has already played for several different teams in the league, including the Minnesota Lynx, Washington Mystics and San Antonio Silver Stars.

Before joining the WNBA, she helped lead the US Pan American Team to a gold medal.

"Playing basketball has given so much to me and taught me people skills," Humphrey said. "It's also allowed me to meet so many great people."


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