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BYU commit Amari Whiting looking at ‘positive side’ of ACL injury

Whiting will miss her entire senior season at Timpview High School.

(Drew Nash | Times-News/Magicvalley.com) Burley High School's Amari Whiting dribbles behind her back during the Idaho state girls 4A championships on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, at Mountain View High School in Meridian, Idaho.

Amari Whiting wrote down her goals for her senior season and posted them on a wall in her room.

“Gatorade Player of the Year.”

“McDonald’s All-American.”

“Back-to-back state champ.”

But the BYU commit and daughter of the Cougars’ new head coach took those goals off her wall recently. The reason: Whiting tore her ACL and will miss her entire senior season at Timpview High School.

The injury “devasted” the nation’s No. 33-ranked recruit at first, but she said her parents convinced her that, in many ways, this was the best time for her to get hurt. She could take the year to recover and be ready to hit the ground running as a freshman at BYU.

“From the beginning, we just wanted to look at the positive side and just think of this as a challenge and something [where] I can grow as a player and as a person,” Whiting told The Salt Lake Tribune.

Whiting is still committed to the Cougars, and said she plans to make that official during the early signing period for NCAA Division I women’s basketball, which is between Nov. 9-16. She flipped her commitment to BYU from Oregon in July, choosing to follow her mom, Amber, who took the top job in May after Jeff Judkins retired.

Whiting also plans to graduate early from Timpview and enroll at BYU in early January. She said she’ll redshirt upon her arrival so she can be around her new teammates and also have access to the university’s medical and therapy treatments.

Whiting, ranked No. 33 in espnW’s top 100 recruits from the class of 2023, was set to play a big role for Timpview, which was looking to contend for a 5A title. The Thunderbirds finished 10-2 in their region last season and 19-5 overall.

Whiting has new goals now. She wants to walk without crutches and bend her knee at least 90 degrees during her first physical therapy appointment — all in an effort to attack her rehab with intention.

Whiting’s still a rising star in the women’s basketball world. Her injury will slow things down for the moment, but she doesn’t think her injury was a coincidence.

“I think everything happens for a reason,” Whiting said.