WNBA: LA Sparks rookie Cameron Brink tears ACL in left knee

WNBA: LA Sparks rookie Cameron Brink tears ACL in left knee

/ 02:32 PM June 20, 2024

Cameron Brink Los Angeles Sparks ACL WNBA

FILE–Cameron Brink #22 of the Los Angeles Sparks reacts during the game Storm at Climate Pledge Arena on June 11, 2024 in Seattle, Washington. Steph Chambers/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Steph Chambers / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

UNCASVILLE, Connecticut— Los Angeles rookie Cameron Brink tore the ACL in her left knee, the Sparks announced Wednesday.

The rookie forward had to be helped off the court after suffering the injury in the first quarter of the Sparks’ 79-70 loss to Connecticut on Tuesday night in the WNBA. Brink played under four minutes and committed one foul before getting hurt.

Once over to the sideline, the No. 2 pick in the draft hobbled toward the locker room, but was forced to stop as a result of the pain. A pair of Sparks personnel lifted Brink off her feet and carried her to the locker room.

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“You never think it will happen to you. And despite all the hard work sometimes it does. This is hard to fathom but I know it will only make me stronger,” Brink wrote in a post to Instagram. “I will not be derailed and I will continue to love this life — I’m not defined by basketball, but it is something that I love deeply and I will work everyday to get back to it. It’s not goodbye basketball it’s just a see you later. I’m always so thankful for your thoughts and prayers.”

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The 22-year-old Brink came into the game averaging 8.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in her first season for Los Angeles (4-11). She’s tied with A’ja Wilson for the second-most blocks in the WNBA.

“Except for the 2019 season I’ve lost a starter to injury every single year I’ve been a head coach in this league,” Curt Miller said. “You just have to have the mentality of next person up and rally around it.”

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Brink is on the U.S. 3×3 team for the Paris Olympics and a replacement will have to be named for her.

“Our thoughts are with Cameron as we wish her a speedy recovery. As a result of Cam’s injury, USA Basketball will begin the process of selecting an athlete to join the 2024 USA 3×3 Women’s National Team,” USA Basketball said in a statement. “We hope to see Cam back on the court and representing the red, white and blue soon.”

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It’s the second consecutive Olympics that the U.S. team will have to replace one of its original players. Katie Lou Samuelson missed the 2021 Tokyo Games after she caught COVID right before the Olympics. She was replaced by Jackie Young, who helped the team go on to win a gold medal.

The Sparks head to New York to play two games against the Liberty on Thursday and Saturday.

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