USC's Jacki Gemelos Sidelined For A Third Season

Oct. 14, 2008

USC guard Jacki Gemelos has suffered another season-ending knee injury, robbing the nation's top recruit of a third consecutive season with the Trojans. Gemelos had endured two tears of the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee, only to have the ligament and cartilage tear in her left knee on Monday (Oct. 13).

Gemelos was largely considered the nation's No. 1 player coming out of high school as a senior at St. Mary's High School in Stockton, Calif. Selected a 2006 McDonald's All-American, Gemelos suffered her first knee injury in her final high school game with St. Mary's, sidelining her for her first year at USC. Prior to her 2007-08 redshirt freshman season with the Trojans, Gemelos re-tore the ACL in that same right knee, forcing the talented guard to sit out a second season.

After a second surgery, rehabilitation and training, Gemelos was back to full participation with the Women of Troy. But during a Monday afternoon workout, Gemelos injured her left knee, suffering a torn ACL and meniscus tear that will keep her from competing for the Trojans for a third consecutive season.

The highly unfortunate injury to Gemelos comes as an absolute shock to the Trojan team and community. It follows an equally upsetting season-ending knee injury to redshirt freshman Stefanie Gilbreath, who also suffered a torn ACL before entering USC and re-injured the same knee just weeks ago. Gilbreath also has endured three ACL injuries - two before arriving at USC and this season's re-injury. Gemelos and Gilbreath are both scheduled to undergo surgery in the coming weeks.

'It's a devastating situation in the fact that this kid has done everything,' USC head coach Mark Trakh said. 'Jacki has worked so hard on the court and in the classroom. She has a 3.0 GPA, is working on a minor and a major, she's done everything. You shake your head and wonder why this kind of thing happens to such good kids. But no one should doubt that she's going to come back, she's going to come back. Jacki still has her spirits and has told me she's going to be back stronger than ever. She and Stefanie both will come back even stronger.'

'It's a tough situation, but in the overall scheme of this, she's at USC, she's going to get a degree and get back and play and we're going to support her. We still have a lot of talent here, and our goals are still the same to make the tournament and make the Sweet Sixteen.'

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