Our worst fears were realized today after it was confirmed that USF women’s basketball star Kitija Laksa was lost for the season after tearing the ACL and meniscus in her right knee Thursday night versus Bethune-Cookman.
“This is obviously a very difficult blow for Kitija, who is one of the top players in the nation, and our team,” USF head coach Jose Fernandez said. “I know with Kitija’s will and determination, she will get through this and be back on the floor as a top-level player. It is very tough for our team to lose Kitija’s ability and leadership on the floor, but we still have our goals ahead of us and we will continue to work to accomplish those.”
The Latvian native jumped to catch an outlet pass and once she caught the ball, she tried to cut toward the basket, but her knee buckled and she had to be carried off the court by the USF training staff.
Laksa was well on her way to rewriting the USF record books. She’s sixth all-time in scoring (1,764), just nine points behind Angie Synder (1989-1992) for fifth all-time. Laksa was also on pace to finish at minimum third all-time and if she replicated her junior season of 717 points, she would’ve ended her career as USF’s all-time leading scorer.
She is responsible for two of the three 40-point games in program history (40 vs Southern; 41 vs. Ohio State, both in 2017) and most 30-point games in school history (13). She set an NCAA record with 11 straight made threes in that Southern game and also set an NCAA record for free throw percentage (96.5) in a season.
It’s unclear right now if she will use a redshirt season or focus on rehabbing the injury and turning pro. She was shooting up WNBA draft boards prior to the season and was likely headed toward being a first round pick.
The Bulls must pick up the pieces quickly as they face Oklahoma Sunday afternoon before facing Kentucky, North Carolina, and UCLA in the US Virgin Islands Paradise Jam.
The entire TDS staff give our heartfelt condolences and prayers to Kit as she battles back from this injury.