Spartan Spotlight - Kristin Ford

LANGLEY, British Columbia -Kristin Ford likes any movie with Johnny Depp. She’s a huge fan of Avatar. And rare is the Disney movie she doesn’t enjoy.

However, this past spring, had she had it her way, she would have preferred to have never seen Jack Sparrow or Jake Sully or, for that matter, found Nemo.

Unfortunately for the third-year Trinity Western women’s basketball forward, she likely caught a glimpse of them all this past spring as she spent more than her fair share of time hunkered down watching movies while suffering from mononucleosis.

Forced from the basketball court and the classroom, Ford went home to Okotoks, Alta. shortly after the Spartans season and did nothing but sleep, watch movies and, occasionally, attempt to do some homework.

For the 5-foot-11 Ford, who graduated from Holy Trinity Academy in Okotoks in 2011, life had always been about sports. If it wasn’t basketball, it was hockey or soccer or badminton or even something else. So, understandably, being cooped up in her bedroom in Okotoks wasn’t her idea of a good time.

“It was terrible,” says Ford, who is studying human kinetics and hopes to one day become a teacher at her old high school. “I’ve never not been active, so to not be able to do anything was awful.”

For a month, she did nothing. And for the months following, she did very little on the court.

“I went a bit crazy,” Ford says. “It was really tough mentally. Even when I could come and watch practice, it was difficult because I wasn’t be able to join in.”

She was never able to really join in for the rest of the semester. So what followed was a hectic summer of catching up on a school, getting back into basketball shape and working at a recreational centre in Okotoks.

So when she returned this past September, she was thrilled to finally be back, both on the court and caught up in the classroom.

Except Ford still found herself feeling fatigued and struggling to focus. She wasn’t quite herself.

“In the summer after the mono, I was tired all the time and was a bit down,” Ford says.

Test results came back in early September, diagnosing Ford with anemia.

“I was excited because I was back and got to be with the team again and I got to play with them and remember how to play with them,” Ford says. “But then I got the test results and found out I was anemic.”

It was another setback. And for Ford, who was set to take on a larger role this season, it was another frustrating moment that put her development once again on hold.

For the better part of two months, Ford just battled to get back to where she once was.

But now, as the Spartans enter the Christmas break, Ford is finally back on track. Ford, who is averaging 12.2 minutes per game but has a team-leading shooting percentage of 60.9, is playing up to the potential she had once envisioned for her third year.

“It’s nice now because I feel like I’m back to where I was before I got sick,” says Ford. “It’s been very exciting to be able to perform how I know I can. It’s exciting to not have health issues hold me back.”

Spartans coach Cheryl Jean-Paul adds: “In the last few weeks, we’ve definitely seen that progression as she’s developed into a third-year athlete. I think it’s just gaining confidence for her.”

Now, Ford is hoping to help turn the Spartans seasonal fortunes around. With TWU struggling through a nine-game losing skid, Ford’s fully healthy presence on the court is something that certainly can help her become a difference maker.

“I definitely need to be a factor on the boards,” Ford says. “But I also need to defend the opposite team’s post and play physical, which is the type of game I am comfortable with.”

And for TWU, having Ford back on the court and in peak condition will certainly go a long way to helping build team success.

“She works hard,” Jean-Paul says. “She’s a team player. She really looks out for the best for her teammates and wants everyone to enjoy the process. We’re trying to encourage her to take what’s there for her because she is getting the opportunities and I think she is coming into her own.

“She’s healthy and she’s getting healthier and our goal is to keep her healthy and keep her moving forward in her basketball abilities.”

-TW-

Last Updated: 2013-12-13
Author: Mark Janzen

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