By Joseph Staszewski
Kadijah Dickson is physically healthy again, but is still recovering from a torn ACL in other ways.
The Mary Louis Academy senior’s basketball future is still uncertain and her college recruitment is wide open since she is currently without a scholarship offer. She is going to visit Farleigh Dickson University and Adelphi in the coming weeks and play in one last travel ball event with the NYC Heat in hopes of landing a few more schools. She missed most of her junior season with a torn ACL and was limited in what she could show college coaches when she was working her way back last summer.
“It’s really stressful and I didn’t expect it to be that way,” Dickson said. “It was really hard after my injury. People say don’t worry, you are going to bounce back. It was way harder than I thought it was going to be.”
She didn’t get over the mental hurdle until she was forced to in early January when the Hilltoppers’ star guard Jasmine Brunson went down with a wrist injury. Until that point Dickson, who is known for her athleticism and versatility, was afraid of contact, fearful of driving the same way she had in the past or defending with the same intensity. The injury to Brunson forced her to get over all of it.
“It wasn’t her ability that was holding her back, it was really her mind,” Mary Louis coach JoAnn Arbitello-Pinnock said. “She definitely pushed it to that level and helped us out.”
Dickson nearly led Mary Louis to an upset of eventual CHSAA Class AA state champion Christ the King in the Brooklyn/Queens semifinals. She scored 16 points in a 61-59 loss. She looked like her old-self playing for Queens in the Wheelchair Charities Classic last week. Dickson drove strong to the hoop, mixed it up inside and showed off a short jumper as Queens went on to in the tournament title.
“She is shooting a lot better.” Arbitello-Pinnock said. “I think she can handle the ball well.”
The time is an uncertain one for Dickson. She is still waiting for her first scholarship offer at a time when others around her are set with school or finalizing their plans. Dickson hopes the next few weeks will bring some redemption.
“The school decision, it bothered me a little bit,” Dickson said. “All of your friends are signing and picking and you are still undecided, but I hope for the best.”