Playing through pain
Published 3:50 am Wednesday, February 9, 2005
Tinekka Lett, a junior guard for the Escambia County Lady Blue, knows a thing or two about getting up when she falls.
Lett, who is averaging 12 points per game this season, took a scary spill into the wall two weeks ago in Brewton, where she suffered a concussion.
"It was a major concussion," Lett said. "They told me I'd probably feel worse the next day and that I probably shouldn't play. So I prayed and I felt better the next day so I called Coach (Christi) Nall and told her I'd be able to play."
Lett took the floor for the Lady Blue three nights after being carried off the floor on a stretcher.
"Coach Nall was very supportive," Lett said. "She was right there by me in the hospital and she was concerned about me. The whole time she was what I thought a coach should be."
Lett said her parents had mixed feelings about her playing so soon.
"My mom didn't really want me to play," she said. "She was concerned the whole time, but my stepfather kept saying 'She'll be fine, let her play.'"
Coach Nall was impressed with the effort Lett put forth to come back.
"She showed a lot of character coming back," Nall said.
Lett has shown a lot of character throughout the season, according to Nall.
"She's really come a long way," Nall said. "She worked hard in summer camp and she's been leading this team all year. I'd like to see her be more vocal, but we're working on that. The most impressive thing about her, though, has been her improvement in attitude. I've never had a player mature as much in one year as she has."
Lett was excited about the prospects for next season.
"I think we can be a lot better, but that's not based on me," Lett said. "We can improve a lot, me included."
Lett also acknowledged the school had been wounded by the events of the last few months.
"We've been through a lot here lately," Lett said. "Losing four of your classmates in a few months isn't easy. A lot of us, even regular students, have had trouble focusing. A lot of us have had our grades drop some. I just ask the City of Atmore to pray for our school, because we need it."
Despite the recent struggles, Lett was excited about the approaching area tournament.
"I think we have a good chance," Lett said. "We've seen all these teams already, so I think we can compete, but it's all up to us."
The Lady Blue opened the area tournament Tuesday night in Gulf Shores against the UMS-Wright Lady Bulldogs. That game was incomplete at press time.