1-on-1: Lynx Draft Pick Jacki Gemelos
During the second quarter of Thursdayís game between the Lynx and Los Angeles Sparks at Staples Center, Lynx Radio welcomed Jacki Gemelos on for a special interview. Gemelos, who played collegiately at Southern California, was chosen by Minnesota in the third round (31st overall) of the 2012 WNBA Draft. Lynx Radio announcer John Focke discussed Gemelosí path back from her latest ACL injury, her hopes of playing in the WNBA and where sheís at in her recovery.
Jacki Gemelos: It was incredible. I was just watching the Draft by myself in my room and didnít really know what to expect. So when my name finally got called there in the third round, itís a dream come true and so many emotions kind of erupted that very instant. It turned out to be one of the greatest days of my life. I felt fortunate for that.
JF: And for those who donít really know your story so well, five ACL surgeries in six years. Youíve torn both your ACLs twice, and then one time the reconstructive surgery didnít take. Youíve been through so much, just the culmination of that. And then this past year not being able to finish out your senior season, how emotional was it to hear your name and think everything youíve done led up to this and now once you get healthy again youíre going to have an opportunity to try out for this team?
JG: You pretty much said it. Itís just something so incredible. I didnít know if my wish was ever going to come true after everything that happened with my knees and stuff. And to be rewarded like that in the end, it made everything worth it and all the pain and tears and everything worth it.
JF: As you sit here courtside, take a look at those Minnesota Lynx jerseys. Do you see yourself in one of those?
JG: Oh yeah, absolutely. Great colors, too. I was just talking about that up there. I love it.
JF: Looking at your numbers from high school. Senior year: 39 points, nearly nine assists and 6Ĺ rebounds. What was your high school team like?
JG: I think I did the majority of the scoring for our team. St. Maryís has always been a powerhouse. My senior year kind of dropped off a little bit, but I think I took on the role of scoring for the team. But obviously we had great players and I couldnít have had those numbers without them.
JF: You grew up watching the WNBA, I think the Sacramento Monarchs were closest to you. What were some of your memories of the WNBA back then and maybe Rebekkah Brunson, who spent some time in Sacramento for the Monarchs?
JG: I was thinking about it earlier, I was at the Sacramento Monarchs game when Seimone [Augustus], she was still playing for Minnesota, I think she dropped like 40 on Sac, and I remember watching her and from that moment on I was like, Ďokay, she is definitely one of my top favorite players in the WNBA.í Her performance was amazing that day.
JF: Take us through what youíre going through right now with the rehab. Where are you at in your rehab stage after tearing your ACL again in December?
JG: Iím about five months out of surgery right now. Itís an ACL injury, itís a long process so it takes time. I should be back on the court playing in about three months at the most. Iím rehabbing four days a week, shooting with Michael Cooper every day and lifting, doing everything I basically can right now.
JF: How about when you do get back on the court, any plans to play in the offseason in Europe?
JG: Yeah, I donít think Iíll be ready for the full season in October, but there is talk maybe December/January, kind of the second half of the overseas season to kind of get me going for the summer.
JF: Jacki, thanks so much for stopping by. We really appreciate it. We hope to see you next spring come training camp for the Minnesota Lynx.
JG: Awesome! Thanks so much.
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