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Maryland women’s basketball graduate student guard Channise Lewis steps back from playing this season

The fifth-year guard has dealt with a string of injuries prior to announcing Wednesday’s decision.

Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Maryland women’s basketball graduate student guard Channise Lewis announced she will not be playing during the 2021-22 season, per her Instagram post on Wednesday.

Lewis, who is in her fifth year in head coach Brenda Frese’s program, has dealt with multiple season-ending knee injuries throughout her time with the Terps.

“I want to take the time to thank everyone for their support throughout my injuries and my entire career here at Maryland,” Lewis said in the post. “Unfortunately, this time around, I have faced some unexpected challenges in my rehab process over the past year, which has led me in making the decision of taking a step back from playing this year. While I focus on my mental and physical health, I will continue to use my voice on the sideline and support my teammates unconditionally this season. Thank you, Terp Nation, for your words of encouragement throughout this whole journey!”

Arriving on campus as a freshman in 2017, Lewis came in as ESPN’s No. 55 recruit and a two-time Most Valuable Player of the state championship in Florida. Lewis was an immediate contributor as a freshman, starting 32 games and posting 5.4 points and 4.7 assists per game. She was also an outside threat, shooting 39.5% from beyond the arc in her rookie season.

As a sophomore, Lewis was able to stay healthy but played more of a bench role with the new arrival of freshman guard Taylor Mikesell. Lewis was gearing up for her junior season before suffering her first knee injury in October 2019.

“Channise has been through so many setbacks and the injuries with her knees, so disappointing there,” Frese said. “But she has always continued to stay that steady, consistent leader for us. Honestly, we need that experience, that leadership, that maturity that she continues to bring and whether it’s on the sideline, at practice, on the bench in games, I mean she has been a big influence day in and day out on our players.”

Lewis missed the entire 2019-20 season, but she came back ready to play her senior year. Unfortunately, she only appeared in nine games before suffering yet another serious knee injury against Michigan State on Jan. 7, 2021. Lewis was yet to play in or dress for a game this season prior to Wednesday’s announcement.

It has undoubtedly been a challenging ride for Lewis, but her positivity and energy have been and will still be felt on the sideline for the remainder of the season.

“For me, it’s being mentally positive each day,” Lewis told Testudo Times in October. “I know sometimes, everyday’s not gonna be the best, and I know that from experience to my first injury. So I think that definitely helped me going into this injury is knowing that each day is not going to be the greatest, but as long as you keep pushing and knowing that the next day the Sun’s gonna rise, you’re gonna be okay. That’s all that has been getting me through all these injuries.”