CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - First Wednesday of February is National Signing Day. A huge day for seniors all over this country as they sign National Letters of Intent to play sports in college. For Olivia Xerras of Myers Park, this day is extra special.
Just like most freshmen entering high school, she had big dreams of playing basketball in college some day. Three ACL tears... on the same leg... threatened to take that all away for Olivia.
“Each time, I just gained a stronger passion for the sports of basketball and I can say that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than where I am right now,” said Xerras.
The senior had the talent to possibly be a Division 1 player, but the injures took the chances to prove that away. She refuse to give in even after tearing the ACL for the 3rd time at the the start of this, her senior season.
“I realize I wanted to play so bad so I collected all the film I had over the last few months and just did everything I could to call coaches and get out there on the Division 3 level and I was able to get through to one of them,” said Xerras.
And that one school is Division 3 Colorado College out in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Coming back from 3 ACL tears is not easy, but she had an example on how to get it done in former Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis. TD tore his ACL 3 times on the same leg but still came back to the NFL.
“He’s one of my idols,” said Xerras. “I have his Fathead in my garage where I practice and dribble. He’s been my idol through all these injures.”
She’s looked up to TD and finally got the courage to reach out to TD. Davis reached back.
“I DM him right after I had my 3rd ACL injury and I sent him a picture of me in the hospital right before I went into surgery and he sent an inspirational message back and just said that you got this."
Olivia is not playing for Myers Park currently as she is still rehabbing getting ready for college. Yes, it’s not the way she wanted her senior season to end but life and basketball are all in a new perspective.
“There are so many extra components to being an athlete that I knew but I just don’t think I fully realized until I got to this point,” said Olivia. “Being able to be your best self everyday and trying to prove others wrong but in the most respectful way possible-- that’s something I strive to do and I think this injury taught me a lot about that.”