MOUNT WASHINGTON, KY. (WDRB) – At first, she didn’t think it was anything serious.
“I didn’t want to be a baby about it, so I kept playing through it,” said Lindsey Duvall, a 5-foot-9-inch junior guard at Bullitt East.
But little by little, her pain became impossible to ignore.
“I went to the doctor, and that’s when I found out.”
She had a tumor the size of a grape on her left knee. It was too early to tell the severity of the situation, but at the very least, doctor’s believed the 17-year-old’s basketball career was over.
It was a crushing blow. Lindsey was ranked by ESPN as a top-10 player in the class of 2017. She was days away from committing to play basketball at the University of Kentucky.
“It sucked,” Duvall said. “I didn’t know what I was going to do, to be honest.”
First thing was first: Getting rid of the tumor.
“The doctor was very straight forward with the information,” said Tom Duvall, Lindsey’s father. “He starting mentioning there was a potential if it spread, she could lose a limb. It was very depressing that day.“
Three hours. That’s how long it took for doctors to remove Lindsey’s tumor, and there was good news.
“The doctor said it was a completely different tumor than they expected,” Tom said. “They got everything they needed and kind of mapped out a plan for her.”
That plan included a return to basketball.
So months after being told there was a chance she would never play again, Lindsay was back on the court.
“It was the best feeling ever,” said Lindsey, who started practicing after she got off her crutches. “Usually people hate running. I didn’t want to stop."
On Feb. 12, exactly two months to the day she her surgery, Lindsey returned to the game she loved.
“It’s funny. Lindsey played close to 2,000 games at that point,” Tom said. “I don’t think I ever was as nervous as I was for that game.”
But if Lindsey was nervous for the game, she didn’t show it.
Against North Bullitt, one of the Chargers' biggest rivals, she poured in 20 points. With the game on the line, it was Lindsey who stepped up to take and make the game-winning shot.
“When I hit the shot, I thought about everything I went through,” Lindsey said. “It felt like I could do anything ... at that point.”
A comeback story with a storybook ending. Lindsey was a winner in more ways than one.
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