Hello Sun Fans!
My name is Jillian Alleyne. I am from the West Coast and played college basketball on the West Coast so I know many of you East Coasters don’t know much about me. Allow me to fill you in! I was born and raised in Southern California and my hometown is Fontana, CA. I played for the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!). My major is Communication Disorders and Sciences with a minor in Special Education. I have aspirations of being a successful Speech Language Pathologist after basketball. I loved being a Duck and my four years at Oregon were phenomenal!
My college career ended prematurely due to an ACL tear in my left knee towards the end of my senior year. It happened during the practice after “Senior Night,” which essentially is your last game on your home court. The irony, right? When I got the news, it was devastating. My team was right where we wanted to be at that point in the season and we were right on the cusp of being an NCAA tournament team this year. So as you could imagine, there was a lot on the line. It was heartbreaking for me, but through it all I know God has a plan for me.
When I found out I was traded to the Connecticut Sun after being originally drafted to the Phoenix Mercury I was just as happy because I still have the opportunity to play for a great team and learn from great players and coaches. I have always wanted to explore and live on the East Coast at some point, because I’ve spent so much of my life on the West Coast. Also my mom was born and raised in Trinidad, and the majority of her brothers and sisters, who are my uncles and aunts, have moved to New York and the surrounding states and I haven’t had the chance to meet some of them. So I’m looking forward to that as well!
I am currently in Eugene, Oregon and will be doing the full extent of my rehab here. I’ll be helping out with the current team during the fall and taking a few more classes to complete my minor. I’m blessed because Oregon has been so gracious in making sure I am taken care of from my surgery to being able to do my rehab here. I am in the hands of my athletic trainer, Tori Noda, the trainer for the women’s basketball team. I have rehab five times a week, Monday through Friday. There isn’t one day of rehab that is easy. Everyday is a challenge and requires my absolute best. But in light of that, I’m surrounded by amazing people who encourage me every day and a trainer who pushes and drives me to give everything I have.
I’m just about 4½ months post-op, and making strides each week in rehab. The biggest thing for me through all of this is knowing that God does everything for a reason, even if I may not understand it. Since tearing my ACL and going through rehab, I have learned more about myself in ways that I couldn’t imagine. I know I am in control of how I choose to look at my situation and because of the positive attitude and perspective I have on life, I believe that when it’s all said and done and I’m back to playing, I will have grown as a basketball player and as a person.
I am so looking forward to meeting the team, the coaches, and the whole organization!