It's been a heck of a week for Katie Collier. Just months after many questioned whether she would be able to compete during her senior season at all because of treatment for leukemia, Collier set a career school scoring record, then was named a McDonald's All-American just two days later.
Naturally, those honors would make for a good week for any student athlete. But for a senior to earn such platitudes all while undergoing chemotherapy for acute promyelocytic leukemia? That's positively superhuman.
"I just feel so honored," Collier told the Seattle Times. "I think it's unbelievable that I'm getting this opportunity. I really don't feel like I'm that good of a player to be playing with all these amazing girls. I'm glad somebody thinks so."
In fact, there are plenty of people who think Collier is good enough to be playing in the prestigious McDonalds game, and her statistics and impact on her team bear that out as well. The senior Washington signee is averaging nearly 15 points per game for her Seattle (Wash.) Christian School squad, leading the Warriors to a 13-7 overall record. Unsurprisingly, the team's record has improved markedly since Collier returned to the floor after sitting out the early season while undergoing intense chemotherapy treatment.
To say that the rest came naturally would be to drastically underestimate just how much hard work Collier put in. The Times reported that the future Husky has routinely put in extra fitness practices after her team's afternoon sessions ended, just to get more baseline fitness and re-gain her endurance.
Incredibly, she continues to do this while still awaiting a final round of chemotherapy, which will begin on Monday. Perhaps fittingly, Collier's final dose of treatment is scheduled for just two weeks before the McDonald's All-America Game in Chicago. She is expected to be cancer free when she takes the floor in the United Center.
In the meantime, Collier is trying to keep focused on the playoffs and living in the moment, as she got a chance to after setting the Seattle Christian scoring mark on Tuesday.
"It's ridiculous," Collier told the Seattle Times of her new record. "I honestly didn't think it was possible. It really didn't cross my radar, actually. It's unbelievable."
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