Bernard bounces back after torn ACL

Hannah DiDio '25, Staff Writer

Maddie Bernard ’25 poses for a photo to announce her return to the Girls Varsity basketball team. Photo courtesy of Maddie Bernard. (Hannah DiDio ’25)

After being unable to play basketball for almost a year, Maddy Benard ’25 is back to playing with her team.

“We are so proud Maddy came back, we really missed having her on the team and she is extremely resilient,” teammate Molly McLeod ’25 said.

In the middle of Benard’s freshman year on the girls varsity team, she injured her ACL and could not finish the season.

“I was very sad and upset when I tore my ACL,” Bernard said. “I was also mad that my season was cut short and it was very hard to accept my injury. I didn’t know how to deal with (it) for many reasons, but mostly I was worried for my future.”

On top of missing the rest of her high school season, Benard couldn’t play for Amateur Athletic Union in the off-season. This is a major setback for Benard because that is when players get exposure to colleges.

“Even though my injury set me back, I still have three years to get offers and become a better player,” Benard said.

Benard said she tried to keep a positive mindset throughout her injury and made sure not to lose her motivation.

“My injury was 90 percent mental and only 10 percent physical. During my recovery, my mindset was very important and I wasn’t able to progress if I had a negative mindset but having a constant positive mindset was the hardest part,” Benard said.

Bernard said that because she was unable to go to school and socialize with her friends for such a long period of time, her mental health was negatively impacted. Not being able to finish the season was also disappointing, but having the constant worry about her future and how this would affect her in the long term was a large focus of her recovery.

“I got mentally and physically stronger because of my injury,” Benard said.

She attended physical therapy around five days a week working to get her strength back for the upcoming season. After eight months of recovery, Bernard was cleared to play one versus one and eventually worked her way up to five versus five.

“After all my training, I am still not as fast as I was last year, but my speed should come back with the more I play,” Benard said.

Benard said she is still working to be where she was before her injury for her AAU season this summer and is hoping to have a great finish to her sophomore year season.

“It’s a minor setback for a major comeback,” Varsity coach Kevin Richards said.

Bernard’s recovery has been amazing and she put so much time and effort into coming back for the season. She is prepared and she is ready to have a great season.

“My injury made me stronger and taught me a lot, and I hope to take my career to college basketball,” Benard said.