Athlete Spotlight: Kaleigh Stanfield


Sherry Donaldson

Catching the ball and looking to pass in practice, Stanfield gets the chance to spend some time on the court instead of the sideline earlier this year. Stanfield has spent four months with Petersen out of her four on the team due to the strained quad.

In the world of sports, athletes face more than 2,000 injuries per 10,000 competitors according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, athlete Kaleigh Stanfield could claim a good number of those injuries on her own.

Stanfield, having played multiple sports such as soccer, softball, volleyball and swim throughout her life, took to basketball during the 2015 season after finally recovering from a fall that left her in crutches for months. During the very first game of the season, she restrained her left quad.

“I was told I have patellar tendinitis as well, and now I’ve been doing rehab for nearly three months and it’s still not healed,” Stanfield said. “It’s a pretty strange and confusing injury.”

Stanfield has injured herself three times during the current basketball season; additional injuries from outside of the sport have also affected how she plays.

“I’ll be honest. With this current injury, I’ve had trouble staying positive and my mentality has not been so great a lot of the time,” Stanfield said. “But I just try to remind myself that it could be worse and that all of this rehab is going to make me stronger for my return.”

Other injuries Stanfield has had include broken fingers, sever’s disease, a broken growth plate, achilles tendinitis, patellar tendinitis, bursitis, and a bone contusion.

“Trainer Matt [Petersen] has also supported me tremendously. His room has practically become my second home as sad as it is to say,” Stanfield said. “Even though as he always says I’m an enigma, he still puts up with and helps me day in and day out all while making me laugh and trying to keep me positive.”

Stanfield has spent four months with Petersen out of her four on the team due to the strained quad.

“Sure, now with my history my risk of injury is a lot higher, but the way I look at it it’s just a little roadblock that won’t stop me from having fun and doing something I’m passionate for,” Stanfield said.

Through her experiences with injury, Stanfield has begun to consider a future involving a career in sports medicine.

“I’ve spent so much time in rehab and physical therapy that it’s definitely become more interesting to me,” Stanfield said. “Every injury is a learning experience for me and happens for a reason even though I might not know what that reason is yet.”