AUSTIN, TX (FR) – A sprained ankle didn’t keep University of Texas basketball player Clarissa Davis in bed during the fight of the season against No. 2-ranked University of Tennessee. The Lady Longhorn star sprained her ankle during practice in late January of this year, but after receiving prayer for healing she returned to the court and made headlines by scoring an unprecedented 38 points against the rival team.
“That seems to be the trend for me,” Davis told a reporter from the local daily paper. “I get hurt, get prayed for, and I’m O.K.” Dr. Jesse DeLee initially told Davis that it would take 10 days for her to recover, and cautioned her not to return to the court as soon as she felt like it. He performed surgery on her knee last year, and warned her of the consequences of favoring her right ankle since she already had seriously damaged her left knee.
Without her cast Davis was able to test her foot and felt no pain. Lady Longhorn coach Judy Conradt did not expect her at practice, but when Davis arrived on the court she didn’t say anything. “I didn’t want to talk to anyone,” Conradt said. “I was afraid it was a mistake.” This capped a 24-hour period in which Davis went from believing she would be off the court for six weeks, to learning she could play.
After the upset victory for Texas, Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said, “When was Clarissa hurt? I saw no sign Clarissa was hurt.” Tennessee center Sheila Frost told reporters, “(Clarissa) carried that team; she was almost unstoppable. I was jumping as high as I could and they were still going in.”
Summitt agreed, adding, “You have to look at her and say she took the game in her hands.” The rest of the Lady Longhorns scored 16 points compared to Davis’ 38. “We were prepared to play without her,” said Longhorn Vicki Hall. “That’s the way you have to look at it. When Clarissa’s on the floor, it’s a lot easier for everyone. And a lot harder for the other team.”
This is the second miraculous comeback in the All-American’s basketball career. In late 1987 the athletic community assumed her career was finished when she was injured on the court. Sports reporters predicted that Davis, a member of Maranatha Christian Church in Austin, would not be able to compete in the summer Olympic games in Seoul; yet Davis upset those dire forecasts by a speedy recovery and tried out for the Olympics after receiving prayer for healing.