Faith Masonius hasn’t played a basketball game since January 2022. After going through the first few weeks of official practice, those butterflies are back.
The Maryland women’s basketball senior forward recovered from her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery and is a full participant in basketball activities again, and the jitters and excitement are returning — the good kind.
When they come, well, that is a bit more random.
“I think it was a Sunday night and I’m driving and I’m like, ‘I feel like it’s a game day, it’s giving me those vibes,’” the senior forward said after a morning practice on Oct. 5.
Her destination: a routine run to CVS.
“It got me really excited for, at least, home games but I’m so excited to be back on the court and playing instead of sitting on the sidelines,” Masonius said. “So much better.”
As she went through the practice, there was a palpable excitement to Masonius’ persona as she ran up the court during fast break transition drills sporting a black and gray leg brace on her left leg.
Head coach Brenda Frese was impressed with Masonius’ mobility during the drills and said she was “ahead of schedule.”
“She shouldn’t be doing full practices right now, she’s just so tough and for us we have to manage [the] big picture because there’s going to be highs and lows coming off that type of injury,” Frese said. “We’re just trying to manage her load but every time she steps on the floor she makes an impact.”
The overarching lesson she learned from being out was to listen to Alecia, the name she assigned to her surgically repaired knee. There’s no reason for the name, it just happened to come to Masonius one day.
“The amount of months I went without playing basketball has taught me to be patient. So if my body is hurting, I’m taking myself out because I’m not trying to sit out another six months [or] another whole year,” said Masonius.
She’s eager to play in what she believes is the toughest schedule of her college career with a nonconference slate highlighted by games against UConn, Baylor and the reigning NCAA champion South Carolina.
“Last year was definitely a tough schedule, but for me, I didn’t play … I didn’t get to enjoy it as much because half the games I wasn’t even there,” Masonius said. “But this is definitely I think the toughest nonconference schedule.”
The Terps’ season tips off Nov. 7 on the road against George Mason.