Opal Summerton does it tough

Opal Summerton does it tough

DUAL-Olympic Opals basketball forward Laura Summerton has been playing the sport non-stop for 15 years, writes Boti Nagy for The Adelaide Advertiser.

It was time for a break . . . just not the one she suffered.

Summerton, 25, was playing for Parma in the Italian league in its best-of-three quarter-final when she crashed to the floor in game two. Her boyfriend, sister and her sister's husband all had made the trip to Italy to watch the series.

"It was in the first couple of minutes," the Lightning star and Sturt junior said.

"I was on a fast break, our guard threw a long pass, I had a defender on my left and I lost balance.

"My right knee just went. It felt like my knee had disappeared."

Playing at Parma with former Lightning and Opals team-mate Jenni Screen, the popular Summerton watched her team-mates lift to level the quarter-final series at 1-1. But they could not overcome her absence in the decider.

"It was funny because I'd just been talking with Jenni saying that in the past 10 years I'd only had two weeks' off," Summerton said. "I've just turned 25 and never really had a break in 15 years.

"I've had no sore knees, no injuries, no worries."

A torn ACL fixed that, Summerton flying back to Australia for surgery and now out of action for an unspecified amount of time.

The break she had to have?

"I could be out for a minimum of six months or a maximum of 12," she said.

"The surgeon told me that apart from the ACL, everything else looked pretty good."

Coincidentally Summerton signed with Parma for a further 12 months on the day she suffered her injury.

"I'd had a really good season and really enjoyed playing there," she said. "We discussed a one or a two-year contract and settled on one."

Due to join new Opals coach Carrie Graf in camp soon, Summerton said she had not spoken with Jan Stirling's successor since before the game.

"You can understand as the new coach, Carrie was pretty up about getting started so this didn't come at a good time," Summerton said.

"But I've been very lucky."

Photo courtesy of FIBAEurope.com