Plymouth’s Green giving it another shot at Hope

PLYMOUTH — The first time Marisa Green tore her ACL, she didn’t know if she would play basketball again. The second time it happened, she wasn’t sure she wanted to.
Luckily for Hope College, the 6-foot-1 Plymouth senior changed her mind.
Green has signed on to continue her basketball career with the NCAA Division III Flying Dutchmen based out of Holland, Mich.
“After I tore it I didn’t know if I wanted to go on and play at the next level because I was like ‘I don’t want to get hurt again. I don’t want to go through all this again,’” said Green. “After I thought about it, I was like ‘Well I don’t want to give up this sport because I love it so much,’ and I really don’t have any other knees to hurt so I just want to go and play next year and hopefully not get hurt again. I’ll take it to the best of my advantage because it can be taken away from you so easily, so you’ve got to work hard when you have it.”
The Dutchmen finished second in the 2010-11 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association standings and were the national Division III runners-up in 2009-10. The team finished with a 27-3 record earlier this month in its 13th straight season with 20 or more wins.
Green averaged 6.64 points per game as a senior and finished with a total of 246 points despite an abbreviated high school career in which ACL injuries sidelined her throughout her sophomore season and the last six games of the 2010-11 season.
On January 15, Green sustained an ACL tear to her right knee during a Northern Lakes Conference game with Concord after leading her team in scoring in three of her last four outings. It was her second such injury after she tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her other knee prior to her sophomore season and had to sit out the entire ‘08-09 schedule.
“The sophomore season was really hard because I didn’t know what to expect,” Green recalled. “I hurt it worse, I guess you could say. The recovery when I tore my left one my sophomore year was a lot harder than the one I had this year.
“Rehab is going a lot better on this knee because I know what to expect now and you know how hard to push yourself.”
Following her season-ending injury, Plymouth went on to a 3-3 finish in the final month of play, and Green recalls sitting out the Lady Pilgrims’ Sectional 19-opening loss to Culver Girls Academy in which the Pilgrims were unseated after earning three straight sectional championships from 2008-2010.
“It was awful because I really just wanted to finish up senior year and it was really hard to not be able to play Senior Night and all those other nights,” said Green.
“It was hard because you really want to help your team but you can’t do anything about it because you’re just sitting there obviously.”
At first, Green, who had gotten looks from in-state colleges DePauw and Franklin as well as Washington University in St. Louis and Division II UMass Lowell in addition to Hope, had second thoughts about playing college ball. But enough time away from the game made her realize how important it is to her.
“I just needed some time to think about it,” said Green. “I just really missed playing. I missed it so much and I was like ‘If I miss it this much now, I’m just going to miss it even more.’ I’m never going to be playing again if I don’t play in college. I didn’t want to miss doing it because I knew I’d regret it if I did.”