Danielle McCray’s college basketball career may have ended on a sad note, but the future looks bright for the former Kansas University standout.
McCray underwent surgery a couple of weeks ago to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament she suffered during practice on Feb. 4, and the prognosis is good.
“They said it would be stronger than ever,” said McCray, who earned All-Big 12 second-team honors despite playing in only seven league games.
As is standard in ACL procedures, McCray’s damaged ligament was replaced by a portion of one of her hamstrings, and there was plenty of that muscle available.
“The doctor said it reminded him of Brandon Rush’s because my hamstring was so big,” she said.
Rush, now playing for the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, also underwent ACL surgery while a member of KU’s men’s team a few years ago.
McCray had hoped to play in the WNBA this summer, but the women’s pro season runs from mid-May until late August, and McCray won’t have completed her rehab until mid-August.
Despite the fact she won’t be available, McCray is still expected to be selected in the WNBA Draft on April 8. McCray says she figures her stock has dropped, yet some mock drafts still have her going late in the first round.
McCray won’t have to wait for the 2011 WNBA season to play professionally, however. She plans to sign with a European team as soon as her knee is completely healed.
“I don’t know where yet,” she said, “but I’ll be going overseas in August.”
In the meantime, as long as the Jayhawks remain alive in the WNIT, McCray will continue her unanticipated and unwanted role on the bench as an assistant coach and cheerleader, as she did Wednesday in KU’s victory over Prairie View A&M.;