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Aaliyah Menefee back on the court after bout with blood disorder

After more than 600 days away from the court, Aaliyah Menefee (center) is back with her Lufkin...
After more than 600 days away from the court, Aaliyah Menefee (center) is back with her Lufkin teammates for her senior season.
Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 11:10 AM CST
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - After more than 600 days away from the court, Aaliyah Menefee is back with her Lufkin teammates for her senior season.

Aaliyah Menefee back on the court after bout with blood disorder

As a sophomore, Menefee was the district offensive MVP, however she missed the playoffs that year due to an injury. While getting blood work at the doctor Menefee and the team discovered a bigger issue after several nose bleeds. She was diagnosed with Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), weakening her immune system.

I went to the doctor,” Menefee said. “They ran my blood and my platelets were low so they rushed me out of the doctors office and to the emergency room. I didn’t know what was going on with myself and was kind of scared. "

Basketball was the last thing coach SaDale Lamb was worried about.

“We we’re not sure she would ever play again,” Lamb said. “This was bigger than basketball. We were worried about her health. I just told her we were going to be there for her regardless if she played or not. No one was going to wear her number until she graduated if that was the case. .”

With the COVID pandemic in 2020, Menefee was forced to sit out of competition while she tried to fight off the diagnosis.

“During the process, because I had weakened my immune system I caught COVID,” Menefee said. “I was extra sick and had to go back to the hospital. That made me more sad on the inside. Many nights I cried that I could not be with my team. I was upset with myself and blamed myself for stuff I could not be here for. “

Menefee was able to overcome the diagnosis through prescribed steroids and medical treatment and has been cleared to play. She wasted no time getting back to her old ways scoring 13 points in her first game back.

“Mentally I had to keep pushing myself that I could get through it,” Menefee said. “I had to keep pushing.”

Menefee has come back strong and been a valuable asset through the Lady Pack’s first part of the season. Lamb is hopeful it will continue but also knows having Menefee back is bigger than the results of the game.

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