Girls Basketball: Knee injury sidelines Savanah Uveges

Story Image South Elgin's Savanah Uveges (4) advances past Streamwood's Deja Moore (23) during the first quarter at South Elgin High School in South Elgin, Ill., on Friday, February 17, 2012.

| Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media |
Story Image

Updated: September 12, 2012 9:30PM

For the second straight year South Elgin’s girls basketball program has been hit with a serious knee injury to a key player.

Courier-News All-Area guard Savanah Uveges, who also made the Courier-News All-Area soccer team, will be lost to the basketball team for most — if not all — the 2012-13 season due to a torn right anterior cruciate ligament.

The 5-foot-10 Storm junior suffered the injury while playing for Midwest Elite in an Indianapolis AAU tournament over the summer. She was attempting a layup and was undercut on the play.

“She’s doing a nice job with the rehab, but she can’t run yet,” said her father, John Uveges, the South Elgin boys soccer coach. “We’re taking a very cautious approach and sticking with everything the doctors say.”

Uveges has been receiving interest from Division I college programs in both sports.

South Elgin’s girls basketball team last year lost forward Kara Rodriguez to a torn knee ligament suffered during cheerleading in the fall. It’s possible Uveges could return for spring soccer, and basketball coach Tim Prendergast is holding out hope for a return by regional basketball tournament time, but there are no plans to rush her back.

“The first four years I was coaching our program it seemed like we never had anybody out — no serious injuries — and now it seems like it’s our turn,” Prendergast said.

Uveges averaged 9 points, 4.4 assists, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.6 steals as an all-around threat for the Storm. She was one of the top defensive players in the area, led the Storm in field goal percentage (.512) and her 78 offensive rebounds led the team, as well.

In soccer, Uveges scored 22 goals last year after scoring 19 as a freshman. Her 22 goals is the school record. She had 26 assists last year, as well.

“The positive of it is she has her whole junior year to get through this and will have another year to play,” John Uveges said. “She was just getting to the point where colleges would be able to contact her in recruiting, too.”

John Uveges said his daughter has been trying to decide between the two sports for college, but “her heart was really in doing both — she wants to try it. They always say you can’t do both in Division I. She might be starting to realize that can be a tall order.”

Iowa and other Big Ten schools had shown some interest in soccer, and in basketball most of the interest was in lower Division I.

“Knowing Savanah and how hard she works, she will go through rehab well,” Prendergast said. “She’ll have time for a full recovery and it shouldn’t affect her in terms of recruiting at all.”

The South Elgin girls basketball team will look to be one of the stronger in the area this season after making the sectional for the first time last season. The sophomore team went 24-1 last year. The Storm girls went 19-1 this past summer in tournament play.

“We’ll definitely miss her on defense — she was a nightmare for other offenses with her tips and deflections — but she also had gotten a lot better with her shooting after working on it a lot,” Prendergast said.

Sophomore Delaney Kelleher is expected to replace Uveges at guard when the season begins.

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