2 months after cancer diagnosis, hoops star to return to court

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

Katie Collier is one of the most talented girls basketball players in the nation. The senior star of Seattle (Wash.) Christian High, Collier stands 6-foot-3 and is considered one of the nation's more versatile forwards. After committing to nearby Washington, Collier was expected to have a big senior season leading Seattle Christian to a dominant season.

Then, everything changed. Collier was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, and doctors insisted that she would miss her entire final high school season. According to the Seattle Times, after missing just two games of the 2011-12 campaign -- both losses -- Collier is already scheduled to make an emotional and inspirational return on Friday, suiting up for the Warriors when they travel to Vashon Island (Wash.) High.

That Collier is returning so soon is a minor miracle. The senior began chemotherapy after being diagnosed in early October with acute promyelocytic leukemia, a rare form of leukemia that begins in a child's bone marrow. Less than two months later, Collier showed such encouraging signs of recovery that her doctors cleared her to return to practice.

Now, after making it through the 10 practices that are required before any player is deemed eligible to return to action, Collier is ready to suit up for the Warriors, with both her doctors' and parents' blessing.

According to ESPN HoopGurlz, Collier's doctors had predicted the senior's athleticism and determination could make for a fast and full recovery.

"I assume it will be just a matter of lost time," Dr. Terrence Cronin wrote HoopGurlz in an email. "She will be weakened by her treatment, and delayed intense training, so she will need a period of reconditioning after her recovery. Once she has regained fitness, I would assume she would be able to return to near her previous level of activity, if not back to it [completely]."

Still, to be back on a varsity basketball court within two months? That's unheard of.

"We sure feel blessed that she is progressing so well," Mark Collier, Katie's father, told the Times.

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