As Tom Petty Once Sang, The Waiting Is The Hardest Part…


The sun is shining, the weather is beautiful, and now would be a perfect time to take a walk or otherwise get outside and enjoy nature.

But instead I’m sitting inside, hitting the F5 key to refresh my browser, all while hoping to learn any more details of the knee injury suffered by Elizabeth Kitley in yesterday’s loss to UVA.

I’m probably not alone in this regard, as I’d imagine thousands of others are probably doing the same.

It’s not that we’re concerned if Liz can play in the upcoming ACC Tournament. It’s certainly something nice to know, but this goes far beyond basketball.

Liz and Georgia Amoore over these last few years have become to many of us cyber-adopted daughters. The thought of Liz suffering physical pain right now is unsettling, and the sooner we hear that she’s OK and not hurting, the quicker we’ll feel relieved on that front.

But there’s also the emotional pain of seeing what could be the end of Liz’s Virginia Tech career in the blink of an eye if it turns out she is seriously injured. “It’s just not fair” are words that have rolled around in my head pretty consistently since about 7 PM yesterday.

She’s done everything you’re supposed to do. She’s worked hard on the court, but has worked just as hard off it, signing autographs, conversing with young women, and doing it in a genuine way as if she truly enjoys it. When you work that hard and act that nice, you should have some say in when your season comes to an end.

Every time I see the pictures of her niceness on social media, I nod my head in admiration to Loretta and Ralph Kitley. In the parenting half of fame, there’s got to be a bust of those two.

But it doesn’t seem as if that’s going to be the case for Liz. There are two images that stick in my mind from yesterday’s game, and neither portend good news is coming.

One was her landing on the play where she was injured. I once was running on a basketball court, came down with all my momentum going one way, but my foot and leg were turned a different way. I landed awkwardly. Something popped. I could walk, but something kept clicking. Eventually I needed surgery.

All bodies are different, I keep telling myself, and perhaps that didn’t happen to Liz.

The other image was Kenny Brooks, almost kissing Liz on the top of her head when she came back to the bench. Kenny is one of the finest human beings I’ve ever seen in coaching circles, and he treats his players like he treats his own daughters. He is a man of love and respect, and you could see late yesterday that he was highly emotional, as if he knew the medical results and was extremely sad for what his star player is having to endure.

Maybe we’re all wrong, and at some point we’ll hear news that none of us know what we’re talking about, Liz is fine, and she just needs a few days to recover. Nothing would make me happier to hear.

But for now, we wait.

And hope.


  1. Sorry to hear about possible injury to the young lady. It always breaks your heart to see a collegiate athlete hurt. Hopefully things will prove not to be terribly serious.


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