Back issues force Norman to call it a career

Sunday, October 7, 2012
Katie Norman

Lingering back problems have ended the college basketball career of Southeast Missouri State guard Katie Norman.

Southeast coach Ty Margenthaler made the announcement Friday about Norman, who had two seasons of eligibility left, will remain a part of the program.

Norman played in all 57 games, including 45 starts, during her first two seasons at Southeast. She tied for the team lead with an average of 8.9 points per game as a sophomore in 2010-11.

The latest news comes after Norman missed the entire 2011-12 season becuase of a back injury that required surgery. After rehabbing this summer and participating in individual workouts before Monday's official start of practice, Norman and the team reached the decision to stop playing.

"After having surgery, being released and going through the preseason workouts, my back didn't respond how I was hoping it would," Norman said in a release. "Talking with my family, coaches and teammates, we came to the decision that my back just wasn't going to allow me to do it, as much as I hate that. I talked with my family about how I want to feel 10 years from now, and I came to this decision.

"I am heartbroken about not playing, because this program is making a turn for the best. I'm going to be a part of it, but just not on the court. I will try to lead everyone as best I can off the court."

Norman averaged 8.1 points and 3.4 rebounds during her career with the Redhawks. She scored in double figures 16 times, including 10 times during the 2010-11 season.

"I am sad for Katie and her situation," Margenthaler said in the release. "Ending your playing career short is always a difficult decision. Due to the injury, this is the best decision for her in the long run. She will always be a part of this basketball program and she will help this team off the court. She will remain on scholarship and graduate in the spring."

Fields gone

Guard Shelah Fields is the only scholarship player from last season still with eligibility who is no longer in the program.

Fields averaged 2.3 points in a reserve role as a junior guard last season. She remains in school at Southeast.

Also not back from last year is Anna Steffel, who averaged 0.3 points in limited action as a walk-on freshman guard.

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