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Vaden to seek medical hardship for final year

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Vaden to seek medical hardship for final year

FAYETTEVILLE – Rising junior post player Ruby Vaden will not play basketball for the Lady Razorbacks next season and will seek a medical hardship for her scholarship to complete her degree at the University of Arkansas. The 6-4 Oceola, Ark., post player has missed most of the Southeastern Conference season with a series of injuries the past two years. “We wish Ruby well, and hope that she will fulfill her goal of earning her University degree,” Lady Razorback head coach Susie Gardner said. Vaden’s most recent injury was her most severe, a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered during the Lady’Backs’ road game at LSU in January 2005. It followed a preseason injury to her right knee that required surgery which kept her out of the 2004-05 preseason drills and limited her early season playing time. She only played 20 games as a sophomore due to an unrelated foot injury. The Women’s Athletics Department will assist Vaden in seeking a medical waiver for her scholarship for her senior season under NCAA rules. Regardless of outcome, the department will provide Vaden’s scholarship to complete her University degree. “We have always made achieving a University of Arkansas degree the highest priority for our athletes,” UA Women’s Athletic Director Bev Lewis said. “I am pleased that while Ruby has battled through setbacks on the court, she remains committed to finishing her degree.” Vaden’s freshman season proved her best and her only injury-free campaign. Playing 33 games and starting 17, Vaden averaged 7.3 ppg and 4.2 rpg to earn all-SEC freshman team selection. Her sophomore season, Vaden played only 20 games and averaged 11.8 ppg and 6.5 rpg. She started 16 of the 20 games, and picked up her four career double-double games. Her career best came as a sophomore, scoring 29 in Arkansas’ loss at Vanderbilt. It proved to be the ironic high point of her Arkansas career as it was likely she suffered the foot injury that sidelined her for half of the conference season at Nashville. She played only a portion of the next game at Miss State before sitting out the final seven games of the regular season. Vaden’s return at the SEC Tournament saw her limited against Miss State. Vaden lost her starting position to fellow junior Kristin Moore this past season. Vaden averaged only 6.5 ppg and 3.9 rpg in 17 games played. With only four double-digit games as a junior, Vaden’s season got off to a slow start as she missed the majority of preseason workouts while rehabilitating from minor knee surgery. In another ironic twist, Vaden regained her starting position for two games at the low post after Moore went down with a torn ACL against Cincinnati. Unfortunately for Vaden, her season ended with her torn knee ligament 18 days after her teammate. Vaden underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair the ACL tear at the end of January. Vaden marks the second Lady’Back out for the upcoming season. Rising sophomore Danielle Allen announced in May her plans to sit out the fall semester for medical reasons. Arkansas, 17-14, reached the second round the Women’s NIT last season. The Lady’Backs return three starters from the 2005 squad, including the teams’ top two scorers, junior Sarah Pfeifer and senior Rochelle Vaughn, plus junior Kristin Peoples. Arkansas also has former starter Moore back from her knee surgery, expected to return to the team in the early season.



Sports Category : Basketball (W)