COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M women’s basketball players Morenike Atunrase (Shreveport, La.) and Katy Pounds (Shallowater, Texas) have been sidelined by injuries in an announcement made by head coach Gary Blair Wednesday.
Atunrase, a 5-foot-10 senior combination guard/forward for the nationally-ranked Aggies, underwent surgery last week to correct a non-healing stress fracture in her right tibia. She is expected to be back for Big 12 Conference play in January.
“Morenike is one of the reasons why we are on the national map,” Blair said. “We were hoping that her injury would heal by itself like a normal stress fracture, but it wasn’t healing properly and we opted for surgery. Morenike is one of the best players in the country when she is healthy. She will be ready to help us out by conference play and will have a great senior season ahead.”
Atunrase missed five games of the 2006-07 season due to a fracture to her left foot and also suffered a high ankle sprain. She is currently the school’s all-time leading shot blocker (145) and ranks 11th all-time in scoring with 1,030 career points to date. Atunrase was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 2005 and an All-Big 12 First Team selection in 2006 as a sophomore. Last season, she was the team’s third-leading scorer averaging 10.0 points per game and has 75 career starts to her credit.
Pounds, a six-foot senior reserve forward, has been placed on medical scholarship due to degenerative changes in both of her knees that will not permit her to finish out her playing career at A&M. She will serve on the sidelines as a student assistant coach.
“Katy has had five surgeries over the course of her career and we felt there was too much damage to her knees,” Blair said. “We felt that she would be more effective as a student coach, because she is talented in so many different areas that will help us as a program. Katy is truly a success story for what she has accomplished on-and-off the court at Texas A&M.”
Pounds played in 76 career games with one start and helped guide Team USA to a bronze-medal finish as an assistant coach for the U.S. Jones Cup Team this past summer. Last year, she shot 37.0 percent from three-point range and was named a Coca-Cola Community All-American. A two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team scholar, Pounds graduated from A&M in three years with an impressive 3.47 grade-point average. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sport management and is currently pursuing graduate coursework in kinesiology with future aspirations of coaching on the Division I level.