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Athletic trainers pay off for WNC players

Franklin High School senior basketball player Heidi Shope wasn't so good a few months ago after confronting an opponent during a game. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Franklin High School senior basketball player Heidi Shope wasn't so good a few months ago after confronting an opponent during a game.

"I went up to block a shot, and I went up to block her shot, and I twisted my ankle and had an ankle sprain, " she said.

Mission athletic trainer Lynette Gibson added, "Typically, it's more knees and ankles that I tend to see at this level."

Shope said of Gibson: "As soon as it happened, she was literally out there helping me immediately, and I didn't have to, like, worry."

Gibson provides assessment and rehabilitation for athletes at the high school. It's a service of Mission's Angel Medical Center.

Shope said the advantage of the athletic trainer is "having somebody who genuinely cares about your health on site immediately -- instead of somebody you don't really know ."

She continued, "You have a relationship with the trainers."

"I think having me here definitely gives some people peace of mind," explained Gibson. "If an injury isn't as severe as they might think, (then) I can keep them out of the ERs and hospitals and treat them here."

And get players like Heidi safely back on their feet quicker than ever.

Gibson says since she began on-site athletic training at the high school, there hasn't been an ACL tear. She hopes that's because of better education and strengthening.

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