Redshirt-Sophomore Sarah Keeler To Retire From Basketball

April 16, 2003

SEATTLE, Wash. - Washington women's basketball coach June Daugherty announced today that redshirt- sophomore forward Sarah Keeler (Pendleton, Ore.) will retire from basketball after being plagued by knee injuries during her career.

Keeler, a three-year member of the Husky team, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee prior to Washington's NCAA Championship first round game in March. Her upcoming knee surgery will be her sixth in the last four years. Keeler will remain on scholarship and stay with the team as a student assistant until her graduation next June.

'We're disappointed to see Sarah's career come to an end this way,' Daugherty said. 'But at the same time, after her numerous knee surgeries, we support her decision. Sarah has had a warrior-like mentality and contributed immensely to the team with her spirited post play. She will be missed on the court, but we are pleased that she will continue to work with the program and complete her degree at Washington.'

Keeler is a junior academically, but had two years remaining of athletic eligibility after redshirting the 2000-01 season. Her first knee surgery was a reconstruction of a torn ACL in her right knee in July of 1999, the summer prior to her senior year in high school. In December of that same year, her second surgery was a scope of her right knee.

In the fall of 2000, Keeler had surgery to repair the meniscus in her left knee. Her fourth surgery was for screw removal in her right knee for her first ACL surgery in the spring of 2001. Most recently, Keeler had surgery in June of 2002 for a scope of her right knee.

'I'm obviously disappointed I have to end my career in this manner,' Keeler said. 'It was a hard decision, but then it wasn't that hard because I've had so many knee problems the last few years. My future health is more of a concern than coming back for one more season and putting more stress on my knees. It just came to the point where I needed to weigh my options. I'm excited to see what kind of role I'll fill with the team next year.'

As a redshirt-sophomore this season, Keeler came off the bench in all 29 games before tearing her left ACL in practice on March 18. She sparked the Huskies with valuable post play and was the team's leading rebounder in four games. Keeler averaged four points and 3.1 rebounds, and notched her first career double-double with 11 points and a career-high 10 rebounds vs. North Carolina State on Dec. 6.

As a redshirt-freshman in 2001-02, Keeler played in all 31 games and was named the team's Most Improved Player at the season-end banquet. Her lone start came in UW's 88-80 victory over Oregon in Seattle that season. Keeler averaged 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds, while finishing with 20 blocks, second-best on the team.

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