It was the playoff game of a lifetime, a chance to lead her team to a state championship, when the worst happened: ACL torn. Game lost. Season over.
That was Odyssey Sims one year ago.
How quickly things can change.
To look at the Lady Bears' freshman point guard now, you would never know she suffered such a devastating injury. She pushes the ball up the court, weaves through defenders, gets in the way of even the quickest guard and knocks down more threes than any other player on the team -- or on most teams.
A true freshman she may be, but to look at Odyssey now, you would never know.
In post-game reflection, opposing players and coaches are forced to acknowledge her uncommon maturity. It shouldn't come as a surprise. Odyssey is already battled-tested.
She was expected to excel at the collegiate level. Her basketball resume could double as a reference list for every high school hoops honor handed out: WBCA/State Farm National High School Player of the Year, Parade magazine and McDonald's All-American, Naismith High School Player of the Years finalist, district MVP all four years to name a few. A few.
With a ridiculously winning four-year record (120-25) at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, the senior led her team to a No. 4 national ranking and No. 1 state ranking--on their way to an illustrious state championship.
But it all came to a crashing halt on February 27, 2010. Less than one minute into the regional playoff game, Odyssey tore her right ACL. Her team suffered a loss, and her high school career ended. Just like that.
Still, Odyssey didn't let the injury keep her down. With months of therapy and a postscript on her text messages reading "Baylor Bound," Odyssey kept her focus on getting healthy and getting ready for Baylor.
Her hard work and mental toughness paid off.
In her first season at Baylor, Odyssey was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year, earned five Big 12 Freshman of the Week honors and nabbed the game high scoring record for the Lady Bears with 37 points against the University of Oklahoma. Odyssey also made the All-Big 12 First Team, All-Freshman team and the State Farm Coaches' All-Region 5 team.
Some wonder if she's already the best guard in the nation.
"I have this one for three more years," Head Coach Kim Mulkey said. "Ask me in three years, and I'll be able to answer you then."
Odyssey's Baylor journey is far from over. And though it began with some challenges, to look at her now, you would never know.
It's not typical of a true freshman, but it is of a true Baylor Bear.
And that's just what she is.
Extraordinary Stories are unfolding at Baylor.
Odyssey Sims is one of more than 450 student-athletes at Baylor University who is dedicated to her team and being transformed by the distinct opportunities and academics offered through the Baylor experience. Providing scholarships to many of these student-athletes is not only a priority outlined by the NCAA, but it is a priority for Baylor University. Though our athletic endowment falls short of providing these much needed scholarships, you can stand in the gap for Baylor student-athletes. Every gift, no matter the size, makes a critical difference. Make your gift today.