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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/J.T. Wampler Lakyn Sanders

Lamar got the best news it could have hoped for weeks before the season began.

Lakyn Sanders is back, cleared to play following two knee surgeries. Her second surgery was performed on June 1 and, following a stringent rehabilitation process, she was allowed to return to practice for Lamar on Oct. 3.

AT A GLANCE

LAKYN SANDERS

SCHOOL Lamar

CLASS Junior

HEIGHT 5-6

POSITION Guard

NOTABLE Cleared to play after twice tearing the Anterior Cruciate Ligament in her knee. … A three-year starter who averaged 17 points per game as a freshman and 14 points per game as a sophomore. … Plays for the Mavericks summer AAU team. … Starting shortstop in softball who also swam with her school in the district meet last year.

Sanders is a junior who initially tore her anterior cruciate ligament in April 2017 while playing AAU basketball. She returned for her sophomore season and was playing softball for Lamar when tests revealed she had torn her ACL again. But she pressed on with more rehabilitation and is confident she can again play at the level that's made her an all-district and all-state player.

"I'm good to go," Sanders said. "I passed all the tests. The doctors said it was like a miracle, almost, on how much I've recovered."

Sanders is a three-year starter who averaged 17 points per game as a freshman on a team that finished 30-3 and reached the quarterfinals of the state tournament. As a sophomore, she averaged 14 points and 4 rebounds for a team that went 24-9 and reached the state semifinals.

With Sanders back in the lineup, Lamar's prospect for making another deep run in the state playoffs have been greatly enhanced. Amber Brown and Aspen Williams are also top players for the Lady Warriors, who were eliminated 46-40 last spring by Charleston, the eventual state champions in Class 3A.

"I want a state ring. That's always the outlook for me," said Sanders, who scored 35 points in a state tournament game against Marianna Lee. "I think we'll do very well this year if we keep our heads on straight."

Sanders is an all-around athlete who also plays shortstop for Lamar in softball and helps with her school's swim team when her busy schedule allows. But basketball is her passion, and she plays with the Arkansas Mavericks when the high school season is over.

"I love playing basketball," Sanders said. "If I can go between my legs with the ball and hit a step back (jumper), I know it's going to be a good night."

With Sanders apparently healthy again, Lamar fans can expect a lot of good nights from the Lady Warriors this season.

Sports on 11/04/2018

Print Headline: CLASS 3A: Sanders cleared to return for Lady Warriors

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