Lauren Friis injured at men’s basketball game

Josephine McLaughlin, Staff Writer

On Thursday, Feb. 6, the Westmont men’s basketball team played William Jessup. At this game were many students who were there to excitedly cheer on our team. Among these students was Westmont junior, Lauren Friis, who plays on the Westmont Women’s Volleyball team. Friis was standing in the front row cheering on the players with the rest of the spectators at the game when something unexpected happened. Being an athlete herself, the concept of getting hurt during a sports event isn’t foregin to Friis. However, getting injured during a game for a sport she doesn’t play, at a game she isn’t even participating or playing in, definitely is. In an interview on Feb. 20, the day before she was to get her final cast for her right arm, Lauren Friis tells her story of getting injured at a Westmont men’s basketball game. 

“I was at our basketball game and I was sitting in the front row. The ref. was standing in front of me when a player was throwing the ball in. It was a missed pass or something and I couldn’t see and the ref had then moved out of the way and I stuck my hand up to block my face. The force was so strong that I flew back into the bleachers.” Friis shares that she had learned that if she hadn’t blocked her face with her arm, her “face would have been broken.”

Continuing her story, “I look down and my pinky is facing the opposite direction and my hand swelled up right away and the trainer came over looked at in, and I walked over to the table. I then went to the ER, they had to put my pinky back in place, put my arm in a little wrap thing. Then on Monday I had surgery on my small metacarpal. My hand was super swollen after that.” 

During the interview, her arm was wrapped with lots of cotton pads and protective materials, and she explained within the next day she will be getting a cast and that “right now I have a temporary cast, it’s not a hard cast.” 

An important detail in this is that the arm that was injured is Friis’ right hand, which is her dominant arm. Since the incident, Friis is taking advantage of the situation to strengthen her left arm. She says optimistically, “I have taken it on as a challenge, I want to get good at doing things with my left hand kind of like baseball players you know, how they become switch hitters if they want, I’m just a switch hitter right now!” 

She mentions that all her teachers have been super helpful and accomodating for her situation, and encourage her that her “health comes first.” 

Not only does Friis play for the women’s volleyball team, but she also coaches beach volleyball here in Santa Barbara. In regard to her playing Westmont volleyball, Friis shares, “We  haven’t started practices yet, but there is a possibility that I could be out for our spring tournament against Point Loma in March which sucks. If it means I get to play next season and don’t have any complications it’s okay.” Throughout this experience, Lauren Friis has maintained a positive mindset, and is certainly making the most of the situation. The doctors have said that recovery will take up anywhere from four to six weeks, but Friis is hopeful that it will only take four. The journey to recovery is just starting as there will be physical therapy for her to do after, but Lauren Friis “will be super determined to get through it and get back to playing.”