Saturday, February 28th marked the last basketball game that star forward Meg Wilson will ever play in the West Gym at Simon Fraser University.
“There was so much emotion, with it being seniors’ night and pink night, and having so many alumni, friends, and family in the stands,” said Wilson when asked about the game.
In what was a grueling affair with the second-best team in the nation in Alaska Anchorage, Wilson led the team with 18 points, as she has done so many times throughout the season. She led the team in points, rebounds, and steals this year with averages of 14.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.33 steals. Watching her steal a pass at the top of the key and beat every player to the opposing hoop with ease, you would never guess the adversity that she has faced to get to the player she is today.
Things weren’t always so easy. In what was meant to be her senior season in 2015–16, Meg Wilson was diagnosed with compartment syndrome in her legs. This syndrome occurs when excessive pressure is built up in an enclosed muscle area, and can cause blood to not reach the affected tissues properly. Due to the emergency of preventing permanent damage, Meg was forced to sit out the entire season following surgery.
“I didn’t know if I was gonna be able to play, or if I was injured. It went back and forth between a couple of different diagnoses from doctors,” said Wilson. When the news hit, she was determined to contribute in her new role, saying: “When I finally knew I wasn’t going to be able to play, that I was going to have to have surgeries on both my legs, my mindset really changed to try to help the team the best I could without being on the court.”
An injury like this would be difficult for anybody, let alone a varsity athlete, but Wilson used it to improve herself. “Being forced to take a step back I saw a different picture and different side of things [. . .] I grew a lot as a person, being more patient and realizing there was more than basketball,” said Wilson. At the same time, however, her time away helped her realize how much she loves the game.
She did everything she could to be ready for this season, where she and the Clan knew they had the potential to do great things. “We focused on taking advantage of the opportunity that we had,” said Wilson on the mindset of the team as they prepared for the season.
“Being forced to take a step back I saw a different picture and different side of things”
And take advantage they have.
Simon Fraser headed to the postseason as the third seed in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, and came off a game in which they nearly beat the second-ranked team in the nation — Alaska Anchorage. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to come up with the win against Central Washington but at the time of publication, they could be in the west regional tournament. “We had that date circled on our calendars for a long time,” said Wilson, after the team upset Alaska Anchorage last year in the same scenario.
Throughout the game, and throughout the season, Meg Wilson’s and fellow senior Ellen Kett’s on court chemistry has been key for the Clan. “We have a connection on the court where we know where each other is going to be,” explained Wilson. “I know [. . .] if I cut, Ellen will give me the ball because she is such a great passer.”
This relationship extends far beyond the court, however, as it does with all her teammates. “We get along so well and have a lot of fun off the court,” said Wilson, smiling when asked. The thing that has stood out for her most at Simon Fraser outside of basketball is the family she has experienced within athletics.
Her and her teammates are now “where [they’ve] been looking to be all season.” Wilson is more than ready for the intensity of the post-season, saying, “[It’s] so exciting for us because we love to compete, we love that every possession is going to matter.”
In perspective though, Meg Wilson’s health matters much more than basketball. Her and her teammates are blessed to have her back on the court, where she is now better than ever.
FUN FACT: What do you have to do before every game?
“I eat a peanut butter cup before every game!”