ALBANY — Morgan Haney started every game she was healthy enough to play during her first two seasons with the UAlbany women’s basketball program.
Only seven games.
That provides a glimpse at what Haney has dealt with during her first college campaigns. Since joining the Great Danes, Haney has twice torn her right ACL and that knee’s meniscus. The 5-foot-6 guard from Piqua, Ohio has required three surgeries to put herself in position to get back on the court this upcoming season for UAlbany after missing all of last season and most of her freshman campaign.
“It’s given me a whole new perspective,” said the 20-year-old Haney, who has spent the majority of her UAlbany career cheering from the sidelines rather than playing on the court for head coach Colleen Mullen’s program.
This summer, Haney is “back to doing a lot” on the court during offseason workouts for UAlbany, which lost starting point guard Kyara Frames as a transfer during the offseason. Haney remains uncleared for contact drills — Mullen said she’s “hopeful” that clearance will come in September — but has been participating in on-court skill work this summer, and is a full participant in the weight room.
“From all of this, that’s been a huge positive and learning experience for me. I was never keen on being in the weight room, but now I love it and it’s my favorite thing to do,” Haney said. “I feel a lot stronger and more confident in my ability in the weight room — and on the court, too.”
Haney averaged eight points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in the games she played as a freshman. In her seventh game, though, Haney — who needed surgery on her left ACL in high school — tore her right ACL. Several months later, during her rehabilitation process, Haney re-tore the ACL and tore the right knee’s meniscus. Then, just a couple months ago, Haney needed another surgery to fully repair the meniscus.
“So,” Haney said, “not ideal.”
Haney delivered that line with an accompanying laugh. It’s been a tough start to her UAlbany career, but she hasn’t let that affect her approach. UAlbany junior Grace Heeps said Haney’s teammates have appreciated that about her.
“She’s great. I can’t wait to have her on the court,” said Heeps, an East Greenbush native who is roommates this summer with Haney. “She’s an awesome, positive, energetic, lot-of-enthusiasm kid — and she works so hard.”
The loss this summer of Frames, who transferred to George Washington, represents the only opening in the starting lineup for the Great Danes. There’s plenty of time before the Great Danes start their season in November to figure out how to fill that spot in the team’s starting lineup, and Haney — if she’s able to stay healthy — should have a shot at earning that position.
“She’s another ball-handler, [one] that had a great start to her freshman year for us,” Mullen said.
Haney, though, said earning a starting spot isn’t her primary motivation this offseason.
“For me, I want to push myself and find any role on the team I can,” said Haney, a business administration major. “I want to be the best asset I can be, and I want to do whatever is best for the team.”