Kenli Myers Of James Clemens- Comeback Player Like No Other
MADISON- Adversity is a word Kenli Myers knows all too well. The junior basketball player at James Clemens has been through a number of physical challenges in her years of participating in athletics and, as the 2020-2021 high school basketball season ended for the Lady Jets, Myers celebrated a comeback of major proportions.
“This comeback has made me a better person and made me thankful for what I have,” said Meyers.
Over a year ago, as a sophomore, Myers was in a pre-season practice when she reached for the ball at a strange angle and suddenly felt enormous pain in her right shoulder. She kept playing and said, “My heart told me to be there.” Upon a doctor’s examination, it was discovered she suffered an injury to her right shoulder ball socket with a torn labrum. Weeks later, she also suffered a fractured left foot where two ligaments were attempting to split due to a very strenuous workout routine in an attempt to be the best athlete she could be.
“I wore a boot during the day for my foot and a sling for my shoulder,” said Myers. “I was in a sling and boot at the same time, but chose to keep playing during the season as I wanted to help my teammates in any way possible. They were with me the entire way with great support and actually they pushed me to be a better player.”
James Clemens head coach Capriee Tucker had Myers as a starting guard a year ago and watched in amazement the 5-foot-5 guard stand tall in the midst of adversity playing the entire season with the two injuries.
“She is gritty and battled through everything that came her way,” said Tucker. “She wants to be a better player and always finds a way to get things done. She’s a tough kid.”
“I wore a shoulder sleeve last season and had difficulty learning to shoot,” said Myers of her sophomore season. “The sleeve allowed me to continue to play, but limited my range of motion. I couldn’t make overhead passes.”
At the completion of the season in Feb, 2020, Myers underwent surgery to repair her shoulder as a surgeon inserted pins to help the ball and socket of her joint and instructed her to make way for lots of physical therapy. Myers prepped for the surgery by going through a battery of physical therapy exercises and then proceeded to battle her way to a total physical therapy program designed for her surgery post-op. She said she spent a lot of time to work on her recovery since COVID-19 hit about the same time.
Remaining off her injured foot during her time of recovery from her surgery gave that injury time to heal without any type of serious complications.
Those haven’t been the only injuries suffered by Myers. As a young girl growing up in Cullman, Ala., she played softball, basketball and participating in cheerleading. She moved to Madison and attended Liberty Middle School in the eighth grade. In cheer, she broke her right foot and in basketball she suffered a left hand injury. All of these injuries were just a bump in the roads traveled by Myers.
This season she averaged 3.7 points and 2.5 rebounds per game as a starter after a complete recovery from both injuries from a season ago.
Myers is a member of the James Clemens SGA and works part time at Alabama Closing and Title with her mother who is a real estate lawyer.
The daughter of Jamie Blanton and Kenny Myers, along with her stepfather Jarmin Blanton, Myers carries a 3.7 grade point average and feels she’s academically on her way to college after her senior year at James Clemens in the class of 2022.
As for playing through all of her challenges, Myers said, “I want it. I fight for the loose ball and do my best to get the job done. My role on this team was to have a positive attitude for others to follow.”