Winnipeg pro hoopster trying to rebound after knee surgery

Winnipeg pro basketball player Emily Potter does rehab exercises to heal her injured knee after surgery. Josh Arason / Global News

With over 1,000 rebounds in her U.S. college basketball career, rebounding is a skill Emily Potter perfected as a member of the Division 1 Utah Utes.

But now, the six-foot-six forward is trying to rebound from knee surgery. Her first pro job in Poland was cut short when she was told she had to go under the knife for cartilage damage after just a few exhibition games.

“I feel like I finally just made it,” Potter said. “Becoming a professional, signing a contract, going overseas, and then my rookie season is kind of over.”

The Winnipeg native has been down this road before, tearing the ACL in her other knee, which caused her to miss her entire sophomore season at Utah.

RELATED: Winnipeg’s Emily Potter signs contract to play professional basketball in Poland

“It hits harder in other ways because this is my livelihood; it’s my career,” she said. “So it’s scary when you don’t have a job. Right now, I’m unemployed — being in a college atmosphere before, you had a lot of support, but now I’m kind of on my own.”

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While she heals, Potter has gone back to Glenlawn Collegiate to help coach the team she once led to back-to-back provincial finals.

“She was one of the greatest players ever at our school,” Glenlawn varsity girls’ head coach Bryan Kornberger said. “But I must be honest with you, her team-building leadership skills are the things I remember the most.”

“Her interpersonal skills are so outstanding that I’ve already seen her pull people off to the side, and getting them feeling good about themselves.”

RELATED: Manitoba’s Emily Potter headed to WNBA training camp

But it’s only temporary, as the 23-year-old hopes to be back playing professionally in the next month or so.

“I want to make sure I do it the right way and make sure I’m not in any pain so I have to think of the longevity of my career,” Potter said. “I want to play for many years down the line.”

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