Cait McMahan gives up basketball career due to injury

University of Tennessee redshirt sophomore Cait McMahan decided earlier today to cut short her collegiate basketball career due to persistent problems in her right knee. The 21-year-old guard will become a student assistant coach for the Lady Vols.

“I have to face reality and accept the fact that my knee can’t take the day-to-day pounding to play for this team,” McMahan said in a statement from the Univeristy. “I’ll try to continue to be a leader for my team from the sidelines.”

Since first tearing her ACL in November, 2005, while still in high school, McMahan has undergone numerous surgeries to repair the knee, the last of which was in September. She arrived at her decision to stop playing after consulting with her doctors, Coach Pat Summitt, University of Tennessee officials, and team Athletic Trainer Jenny Moshak.

Full release here:

Maria Cornelius, a reporter who covers the Lady Vols, penned a longer piece that ran on the University of Tennessee website today. Among other things, Cornelius chronicled McMahan’s difficult last few years, which included losing her mother to cancer in May of 2007.

Those of us who follow the team had a feeling this day was coming, albeit not so soon. McMahan is to be applauded for her courage in stepping away from the game she loves for the good of her health. She will make a great addition to the Lady Vol coaching staff.