Former CMR star Haley Vining is the backup point guard for the Lady Griz. She averages just under two points and nine minutes of playing time per game, but the fact that she's playing at all is impressive.
"So I committed to play basketball as a junior, so that summer I really committed myself to getting better at basketball and really focusing on basketball and wasn't sure if I was going to play soccer or not but last minute I decided to play soccer my senior year. I tore my ACL halfway through the season so I had to miss my senior year of basketball," said Haley Vining.
But Montana kept her scholarship and after twelve months she was on the court for the Lady Griz, but things were not the same. She played sparingly her freshman year and her knee stared bugging her.
"It hurt but it didn't feel like it was enough to be an ACL tear, so that's why I'm not sure it was ever actually healed. And so I just kept playing on it until the end of the season and I felt like something wasn't right and I wasn't myself and I went and got an MRI and they said it had been torn for awhile," said Vining.
Another ACL tear, another year rehabbing, another year not playing. Despite all that Vining tried to stay positive and not let the negativity enter he mind.
"I mean those thought's definitely go through your head and you go through anger and stuff but I really do believe everything happens for a reason and I think you have to believe that when this stuff happens," said Vining.
Now as a redshirt sophomore Vining is playing on a healthy knee for the first time in three years.
"It's fun to see Haley how she is she is more like the kid we saw as a junior when she was at camp. She has speed and quickness and boy she has worked hard and she's playing really well," said Lady Griz Head Coach Robin Selvig.
Looking back it's been a long journey for Vining who has learned a lot through her injuries.
"The reason I play college basketball is because I love it and it just feels great to be out there doing what you love and even just practicing every day. I think that this injury has helped me not take things for granted and on those days where you don't want to get up at 5 a.m. and practice, but you really do realize how luck it is and what a blessing it is to just be on the court," said Vining.