Meet Whitney Bays
Whitney Bays remembers July 9th like it was yesterday.
The Maryland forward commitment was playing with the West Virginia Thunder in an AAU tournament in Lexington, Ky., when she tore her ACL. She had surgery on July 16 and has been rehabbing ever since.
“When it happened, of course it was devastating,” Bays said. “But I’ve come to realize through it that everything happens for a reason. I’ve definitely become a better basketball player and person because of it. I just try to put everything in perspective, because it’s just the little things we take for granted, like walking and jumping. I told my mom I’ll never complain about running again in my life. It was like an eye-opener in that it showed me how much I love basketball.”
Bays, who will miss her senior season, has found other positives in her situation. She and classmate Laurin Mincy, who also tore her ACL and will miss her final year of high school basketball, have bonded over their respective rehabs. Like Mincy, Bays will spend time helping her high school program, while also focusing on her future in College Park.
“My physical therapist is having me do running and getting my body in shape and getting ready for what college is going to be like,” Bays said. “In high school, I wasn’t necessarily doing that. So I’m really excited to play at a big Division I school. It’s an opportunity that a lot of people don’t get and I’m glad that I’m blessed to be in this position and have this opportunity.”
Bays was the fifth and final senior to commit to Maryland for the 2010 class, which is ranked No. 1 in the country by some recruiting analysts. Bays said she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join.
“I knew they were getting a great recruiting class when I was trying to make the decision, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it,” Bays said. “The coaches are great and I think all five of us all felt the same way and saw the same things. It was just right for all of us.”
Here’s an introduction to Bays.
Name: Whitney Bays
Birthdate: June 6, 1992
Birthplace: Huntington, W.Va.
Hometown: Huntington, W.Va.
High School: Huntington High
Rankings: ESPN Hoop Gurlz -- No. 13 player in the country.
Junior statistics: 25 points, 12 rebounds
Other schools considered: Georgia, Virginia Tech, Florida State
Favorite pro basketball player: Candace Parker
Favorite pro basketball team: Boston Celtics
Favorite all-time Terp: Len Bias
Favorite music: “Lil Wayne, Dixie Chicks. I like all kinds of music.”
Favorite movie: Love and Basketball
Favorite TV show: Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Favorite book: “I read magazines more than books. I like Sports Illustrated and Cosmopolitan.
Favorite food: Ice cream
Favorite high school class: Gym
Favorite thing about College Park: “That’s a hard one. I like a lot of stuff. Probably the team and the staff.”
Hobbies: “I used to play volleyball and I like hanging out with my friends. I love playing pickup -- basically any sports. I like playing football with a bunch of guys, [and] I’ll play baseball and home run derby.”
Intended major: Undecided
Something that not many people know about you: “Probably that I actually like listening to country music. And I’m really close with my sister. A lot of people get us confused as twins. She’s 19.”
Best basketball moment: “Probably right now, signing with Maryland.”
Role model: “One is my sister because she always knows how to handle everything. She approaches everything the right way. If it‘s a bad situation, she always looks at it as a positive. [Another role model is] my mom, just because she‘s always there for me. When I have kids, I want to become that type of mom. And God [is also a role model]. I’m very religious, so I have to add that in there.”
Why Maryland? “It just felt right. You hear everyone say that and when some people told me that, I didn’t know what they meant. [I thought], ‘What are they talking about?’ But everything just felt right. Everything clicked. I could see myself playing there. The team was great and just everything went good. There wasn’t anything I could point out that was wrong with it.”