Miami Hurricanes women’s basketball senior guard Mykea Gray will officially miss the 2020-21 season due to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, the team announced Tuesday afternoon.
A 5-foot-4 guard and native of Upper Marlboro, Md., Gray tore her ACL in practice earlier in the week and will not be able to compete in any part of the upcoming season. She has served as one of the team’s leaders over the past three seasons in terms of on-court performance.
Gray averaged 12.7 points per game last season and was just one of two players to start all 30 games after starting each one in her freshman and sophomore seasons. Gray also led the Canes and the ACC in steals per game (2.13) and total steals (64), and earned ACC All-Defensive Team honors in March.
“Obviously, this is a tremendous loss for our team as Mykea is truly one of our gamers and an incredibly fun player to coach,” head coach Katie Meier said in a statement released on Tuesday. “Even though she won’t be on the court this season, Mykea continues to bring a positive energy to practice and has already started to coach and lead from the sidelines. We wish her a safe and speedy recovery and will be supporting her every step of the way.”
Though a senior, Gray will be able to compete once again next season given the NCAA’s additional year of eligibility granted to all winter student-athletes.
Miami head coach Katie Meier was expecting to rely on the productivity and leadership of Gray and the most experienced group of guards in the conference in Endia Banks, Kelsey Marshall, and Taylor Mason. The team expects to finish with both an improved ACC record and hopeful ACC tournament run after finishing 7-11 last year and losing to Clemson in the first round of the ACC tournament.
Though the program will still have the opportunity to seize control late in games with the remaining veterans, Gray’s impact will be missed. The team finished 11th in the ACC in team offense last season and was looking to ascend in that ranking with the additions of forwards Nyayongah Gony and Naomi Mbandu.
“We have to put ourselves in a position where games are close at the end, and then rely on our upperclassmen, who have been there before, to hit the big shot,” said Meier, who will begin her 16th season coaching the program on Wednesday against Jacksonville.
Miami’s three seniors in Banks, Marshall, and Mason will still be able to do so, however, what matters the most is that they are able to maintain the trust they have established over the previous three seasons and build from there.
Miami kicks off its season on Wednesday against Jacksonville at 1 p.m. at the Watsco Center.