For the love of the game: Elauna Eaton fights through adversity after an ACL injury ended her freshman season

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“I was just sitting there and I’m going through my actual brain and my brain is like, this is like my first season. My actual freshman season is over”, said Arkansas guard Elauna Eaton.

“Arkansas guard, Elauna Eaton’s, freshman season would come to an end on October 6th, 2020 during a move she had done countless time”, said CJ Maclin.

Yeah we were having individuals where you go in specific groups and we were doing this one on one drill. And I remember right there on that wing. I dribbled the ball and I got about right here to this sec logo. And I was attempting to spin back to my left to lay the ball up and my knee buckled.”

“When her knee buckled, she automatically knew what had happened. Because she had torn her ACL the first time her freshman year in high school, said Maclin.

“But now away from family- this recovery was going to test her.”

“It was more of a mental thing for me. I would have nights in my dorm room where I would just sit in the dark. My team would go on road trips I would just be in my dorm room. After the game, sit in the dark. I had got into a really depressive state. And it was difficult for me. (Tears) I’ve always been known to be a very strong person and I’ve also been very private so I don’t really share with people. How I feel or what I may go through.”

“That does your heart really good because she has been our vocal energy person. Ever since she has been back on the floor and you always want that player on your team to have success. So she’s worked and she continues to work, said Arkansas head basketball coach, Mike Neighbors. She’s not a kid to settle for what’s right on the table. She is always going to want a little bit more and that’s what I love about her.”

“When Elauana made it back to the court. It was like she fell back in love with basketball all over again”, said Maclin.

“I was very excited. I was just happy to be back and apart of playing basketball and just sharing the experience. I was just happy to sweat for the first time, I was happy to run up and down the court, I was happy to dribble the ball, I was happy to shoot the ball, I was happy to do everything. Because it had been a long year for me”, said Eaton.

The raw emotion from Eaton shows how much she loves the game of basketball. Eaton had a season high 15 points against UAPB and wants to continue to do more of that this season. Eaton is still in rehabilitation.

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