Cheyenne South junior Deja King trailed behind every other player on the court as Gillette raced into its offense after collecting a rebound Saturday.
The Lady Bison forward wasn’t dogging it by any means.
Try as King might, her body just wouldn’t let her keep up.
She is far from being in game shape, the result of spending a couple of months wearing a walking boot to heal a Jones fracture in her right foot.
As if suffering a second break to the outside or her right foot wasn’t bad enough, King couldn’t do any physical activity while she let her foot heal — not even pedaling a stationary bike.
“I couldn’t put any weight on it when I wasn’t wearing my boot whatsoever,” King said after Saturday’s game against Gillette.
That contest was King’s second back in the lineup.
She scored just one point in three quarters of action during Friday night’s 67-54 loss to Sheridan. King followed that with four points in the Bison’s 70-29 loss to Gillette on Saturday.
South coach Chad DeBruyn is glad to have King available and is taking a cautious approach to integrating her into the rotation.
“Our goal this weekend was to have her play about 2 minutes per quarter,” he said. “She is going to help us a lot because she’s a scorer.
“She also is going to take some pressure off of Nyira (Williams). Nyira is a better scorer when Deja is in there with her. She’ll help us, she just needs to work herself in to shape.”
King averaged 8.4 points and 7.8 rebounds in a breakout sophomore campaign. She showed flashes of that ability on both of her baskets Saturday and when she rose above a Gillette player and ripped an offensive rebound out of her hands.
DeBruyn is looking forward to seeing more of that from King, whose return also allows the Bison to open their playbook more.
“We don’t have any sets in to get the five the ball because Deja hasn’t been around,” he said. “We’re going to be able to put some sets in to get her the ball around the basket and things like that. Her return adds a dimension to our offense.”
South (2-11 overall, 0-2 Class 4A East Conference) plays at Laramie (10-3, 1-1) at 5:30 p.m. Friday.