CHARLESTON (WCIA) — Shae Littleford doesn’t like to spend much time off the court, even if that means playing through an injury.
“I was feeling great,” says Littleford. “We had a really young team and I was just starting to taker over the leadership part of it, and I tore my meniscus in two parts.”
Littleford was back on the court just eight days after surgery. But two weeks later, Littleford dislocated her other knee. It’s an injury she’s experienced three times within the last year.
“I was ‘like ope-, my knee came out of place, can someone put it back in?'” joked Littleford. “And everyone just laughs because I was so calm about it the second time it happened, but I try not to focus on it, because I feel like I’d be more scared and not willing to take risks on the basketball court as I should.”
She wears a brace to keep her knee in place and she hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down. After the Trojans only won 9 games her junior year, the four-year varsity starter bounced back for her final high school season.
“She was pretty darn good as a freshman coming back in, but by her senior year she dominated,” says Charleston head coach Jeff Miller. “You walk in the gym and everybody knew, ‘Hey that’s Shae Littleford, we have to stop her.’ A good point guard will make everybody around her better, and the proof is in the pudding.”
This season, Littleford averaged more than 24 points per game her senior year. She led the Trojans to a conference title and undefeated record in the shortened 15-game season.
“I was really just thankful that I got to have a senior season, cause for a long time it looked like we weren’t going to be able to play,” says Littleford. “Not having a postseason, we just tried to focus on the little things, like winning conference and going undefeated.”
Littleford ends her high school career as Charleston’s all-time points, steals, and assists leader, but it’s not the end of the road for the standout guard, who’s been committed to UT-Martin since her junior year. She picked the 6-time OVC Champs over three other DI offers, including her hometown EIU Panthers.
“Right when I was on campus, I knew that was the school for me,” says Littleford. “I fell in love with their coaching staff, the program itself, so it was a really good fit for me.”
The WCIA 3 Player of the Year will make her debut with the Skyhawks this summer. The program will take an international trip in July, playing two games in the Bahamas. Littleford is the winner of a $500 scholarship, selected as one of two Athlete of the Week award winners.