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Chronic injury ends basketball career of UB's Loesing

Jim McCoy/Buffalo News Mackenzie Loesing moved into the school top 10 in four major offensive categories during an abbreviated career.

UB junior Mackenzie Loesing, one of the more productive players in the history of the women's basketball program, has received a medical disqualification from the NCAA and no longer will play for the Bulls, the university has announced.

Loesing has undergone multiple ankle surgeries during her career but the procedures were unable to stabilize the affected ankle, the school said in a news release. The Mid-American Conference Sixth Player of the Year this season, Loesing finishes her career ranked in the school top 10 in points (ninth, 1,243), scoring average (eighth, 13.7), free throws (eighth, 276) and three-point field goals (seventh, 123).

"It is with great sadness I share that Mackenzie will not play for us her senior season," coach Felisha Legette-Jack said via the news release. "Though she has had repeated surgeries, her ankle has not responded well enough for her to continue to play. After meeting with Mackenzie on several occasions, we have agreed that it is in her best interest to discontinue playing basketball at a competitive level."

Loesing, a biomedical sciences major, will remain at UB to finish her degree and serve as a student assistant coach, Legette-Jack said.

"She exemplifies what a very proud coach calls a student-athlete," Legette-Jack said. "Mackenzie left her legacy here at UB. Though we wish that we had one more year of seeing that three fly through the air, we will always say, 'It's good.'"

Loesing appeared in 30 of 32 games this past season, averaged 13.3 points and scored in double figures on 22 occasions. She is a Cincinnati native.

In an Instagram post, Loesing explained her decision and what went into what would be her final season at UB:

From the time I could walk, basketball has been in my life. For the past 20 years, it has been the one thing that has been constant. No matter what/who else failed me, disappointed me, or let me down, basketball has always been there. The gym has always been my sanctuary. A lot of people know about the ankle injuries and surgeries I've had throughout my career and those closest to me know that this past December I found out that my second reconstructive surgery failed and that the ligaments in my ankle had torn for a third time. Despite my doctors wanting me to end my career at that moment, I chose to finish my junior season, not knowing how far I would be able to make it. I couldn't have imagined the emotional and physical pain that was in store for me, but I was lucky enough to have been able to make it to the finish line and I hit some major milestones on my way. As a junior, I became the 9th all-time scorer in UB history with 1,243 points, 7th most three pointers made at 123, 8th most free throws made at 276, and 8th most career points per game. After much thought, prayer, and lots of advice from those I love most, I have decided to listen to the doctors (for once) and accept a medical disqualification. I am devastated to be missing my senior season but I am unbelievably blessed to have made it this far. Basketball will ALWAYS be a huge part of my life and I am eternally grateful for the countless opportunities it has given me. The places I've been, the people I've met, and the things I've been able to do because of basketball have truly made me a better person. A third reconstructive surgery may end my career but it will also give me a shot at a normal, healthy, pain-free life and I thank God for that each and every day. Basketball is an integral part of who I am as a person. But it is only one part. And although I love basketball more than almost anything else in this world, I love my body and my health more. I'll always cherish this chapter of my life, but I am excited to see what else God has in store for me. Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you" declares the LORD "plans to prosper you & not harm you, plans to give you hope & a future"

A photo posted by Mackenzie Loesing (@kenzloes) on Apr 29, 2015 at 8:10am PDT

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