Kayla Burt To Return To UW Basketball Team
Aug. 17, 2004
SEATTLE - Kayla Burt, whose basketball career with the Huskies ended prematurely in January of 2003 aftersuffering cardiac arrest, will rejoin the Washington women's basketball team, athletic director ToddTurner announced Tuesday.'This is a decision that was not easy to make by any means,' Turner said. 'But after consulting withmedical staff, as well as Kayla and her family, we want to honor Kayla's ability to make her owndecisions about her future.''I want to thank the University for its amazing support through this entire process,' Burt said. 'Everyonehas shown me such a great deal of care and respect, allowing me to make this decision. They have givenme an opportunity to step back on the court one more time to play the game I love and I will forever begrateful. This is truly a day of celebration and happiness. Ever since I retired, I have wanted to step on thecourt again. I have a dream to compete again here at Washington and it's now more than just a game to me.''When Kayla came to us last winter and announced her desire to try to return to playing, we realized thatshe was making an informed choice, and we would do what we could to support her,' Kayla's parents,Ken and Teri Burt, said in a written statement. ' Please understand that this has very little to do withplaying a game, but is more about finishing something she started, and being in control of her own life.We look at today as a day to celebrate and to give our deepest praise to Dr. Kim Harmon and theUniversity of Washington.'Burt, a native of Arlington, Wash., played one and one-half seasons with the Huskies before suffering acardiac arrest episode on New Year's Eve 2002. At the time, Burt was diagnosed with Long QTSyndrome and a defibrillator was implanted in her chest on Jan. 6, 2003. The last time Burt played in anintercollegiate contest was at Washington State on Dec. 28, 2002 (UW won 77-69).In the last year, Burt and her parents sought further medical opinion and tests came back negative forLong QT Syndrome. She then expressed her interest to return to play basketball at Washington, a requestthat was formally granted today by the University. Burt and her parents signed a release form Tuesdaymorning. Under the release, Burt and her parents assume all risks associated with playing basketball withher heart condition, and fully releases the University from responsibility for the consequences that couldarise from participation in intercollegiate athletics.' Long QT is a clinical diagnosis,' Washington team physician Dr. Kim Harmon said. 'Additional testingmakes it unlikely that this was the cause of Kayla's cardiac arrest. Kayla has been through extensivemedical testing and there are no structural cardiac abnormalities and no apparent problems with theelectrical systems of her heart. However, she did have an arrest, and this alone puts her at higher risk thansomeone her age who has not had an arrest. The exact amount of risk can't be quantified. Kaylaunderstands that she is at an increased risk and the university is supporting her right to make the informedchoice to play.'As a sophomore guard in 2002-03, Burt led the Pac-10 in three-point shooting percentage (.538) andassist-turnover ratio (3.42) before Dec. 31. She started the first 10 games that year, averaging eight pointsand 3.7 rebounds. Burt was the team's assists leader in four games and reached double-figures in scoringthree times, including a season-high 13 points at Boise State. She was a Pac-10 All-Academic honorablemention selection and named the team's Most Inspirational player.'I'm very supportive of Kayla's return as a player to the University of Washington,' UW head coach JuneDaugherty said. 'She has gone through a long and thorough process to return to the court. I'm proud ofher patience and effort during this lengthy process and look forward to coaching her once again in aHusky uniform.'As a freshman in 2001-02, Burt played in 24 games, averaging 5.6 points and 2.6 rebounds. She scored acareer-high 18 points versus UCLA. Her first career start came in Washington's WNIT first round gameversus North Texas.Burt has continued with the team since her cardiac arrest, remaining on scholarship, and serving as astudent assistant coach and team captain for the remainder of the 2002-2003 season and the entirety of the2003-2004 season. Burt has two years of eligibility remaining.Burt and the Huskies will open the 2004-05 season with an exhibition game versus the Northwest All-Stars, Sun., Oct. 31, at 2 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. Washington's first regular season game will bebe played Sun., Nov. 14 versus South Carolina at 3 p.m., a part of the first round of UW's WBCA BTIClassic at Bank of America Arena.