Enterprise High’ Karina Archibald (center) poses after signing to play basketball for Simpson University on Monday with (from left) Simpson women’s head coach Derrick Pringle, her parents and Enterprise coach Anthony Williams. (Contributed photo)
Two years ago Karina Archibald’s hopes of playing college basketball were in jeopardy when she dislocated her knee cap and tore the ligament that held it in place.
Those chances were even more bleak on year later when Archibald suffered the same injury in the same knee, forcing her to get it surgically repaired.
“That was definitely one of the hardest obstacles I’ve ever had to deal with,” said Archibald, Enterprise’s senior guard. “I couldn’t do anything for months. It took seven months until I was running again. But I got in the process again and my confidence back.”
The road back wasn’t easy in any sense, but Archibald celebrated Monday with family, friends and teammates when she signed her letter of intent to play basketball for Simpson University in Redding, culminating a journey full of pain, hard work and perseverance to achieve her goal.
“When I think of Karina I think of toughness and resilience,” said Williams. “Real characteristics aren’t with you until you face adversity and she not only bounced back but she was tough throughout the process and it propelled her game this year.”
Archibald was eased into action for Enterprise this season but quickly became an all-around threat for the Hornets during their Northern Section championship season and CIF Regional NorCal Division II championship appearance. She averaged 7.4 points, 2.0 steals and 1.3 assists as the starting point guard but what she meant to Enterprise is more than what showed up on the stat sheet.
“We noticed an immediate presence on the floor; you could see how she not only impacts the game on the offensive end but is a really good defender off of the ball and is a floor general, always uplifting, helping distribute the ball very efficiently,” Williams said.
Simpson is coming off an 18-12 season where it lost in the semifinals of the California Pacific Conference Tournament to end the year. What attracted Archibald about being a Red Hawk, other than getting her education paid for, she said, was the atmosphere surrounding the program.
“I loved their coaching staff and (coach Derrick Pringle) seems like he’s going to work to get me better,” Archibald said.
For Pringle – a defensive-minded coach and former point guard himself – was drawn to her tenacity at both ends of the floor.
“We are excited to have Karina join our basketball program,” Pringle said. “She is a special player that we feel hasn’t reached full potential. Karina is a tough point guard with a high basketball IQ. Her ability to play defense, distribute and shoot will help our program next season.”
Archibald plans on majoring in kinesiology to pursue a career in physical therapy or athletic training, a path stemmed from others that guided her to accomplish her dreams today.
“I want to help people overcome injuries because of all the people that helped me through the process,” Archibald said. “I couldn’t have done it without them.”