Despite obstacles, Effenberger soars [Basketball]

March 2, 2013
Laci Effenberber

After five knee surgeries on both legs, Laci Effenberger of Ketchikan started to question her future in basketball.

Was it worth it? Was it meant to be?

“After those things happen you start to rethink things,” she told me.

She kept with it and today Effenberger is back on the court and back to being the all-star player she was before tearing up her knees.

The 20-year-old is the starting point guard for Clackamas Community College, which is 23-4 and one of the favorites at this weekend’s NWAACC Championships in Kennewick, Wash.

Effenberger, of Ketchikan High fame, was named South Division Freshman of the Year and second team all-region after averaging 10.6 points, 3.4 assists and 2.4 steals in 16 games.

She missed the first 11 games as she recovered from her fourth ACL tear, the third to her right knee since 2010.

“It just gives me more motivation to win a NWAACC championship,” Effenberger said.

She began her college career in 2010 at Angelo State, an NCAA D2 school in Texas. But on the second day of practice she re-injured her knee. She missed that season and sat out the following year only to suffer another knee injury before coming back this season at Clackamas.

“I have been put in a really good situation,” she said. “The coaches here really believe in me. They gave me the physical therapy I needed and now I’m in the best shape of my life. I feel great.”

In some ways, Effenberger can’t believe her legs still work.

“It’s crazy to think about,” she said. “Sitting out so long and the look of my knee … it just looks so ugly. It’s amazing how good I feel and that I can actually run.”

None of it would’ve been possible without the unwavering support of her parents, Morgan and Scott Effenberger.

“My parents were the big push,” she said. “I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”