Didi Richards Overcomes Temporary Paralysis To Become Top WNBA Draft Pick


On October 24, 2020, Baylor University women's basketball star Deauzya "Didi" Richards had to fight back tears as she was transported to the hospital following an on-court with her teammate, Moon Ursin. Her coach, Kim Mulkey, didn't see the collision in real-time, but she could certainly hear it and it didn't sound promising.

"[It sounded] like a football collision without the pads," she told ESPN.

Initially, Richards passed out from the hit. Adding to her fears, she woke up to find that she could no longer feel her legs.

"They said that I kept saying, 'I can't feel my legs; I can't feel from my hips down,'" Richards said.

"I'm the type that whenever I fall, I want to get back up quickly. Alex said, 'Move your legs,' and that's when I realized that I couldn't."

After being examined by a physician, her worst fears were confirmed. She injured her spinal cord and was paralyzed from the waist down. Thankfully, the paralysis that she was diagnosed with was only temporary. In a matter of days, the 6'1 guard out of Cypress, Texas would find herself walking up and down the sidelines of the court as she relearned how to walk. Over the course of five weeks, Richards worked herself out of a hospital and back onto the floor of a major Division I college basketball game. Playing against the University of South Florida, Richards scored four points and had seven assists in the team's five-point win.

"It was a very emotional day," Richards said after her team's win.

Her toughness would carry her through the rest of the season and help the team reaching the 2021 Division I Women's College Basketball Final Four. Although her team didn't achieve their ultimate goal, Richards' comeback was a victory that goes well beyond a basketball court.

The Texas native realized her ultimate goal of being drafted into the WNBA on Thursday as she was selected by the New York Liberty. With toughness and determination, dreams do come true.

"It was a very emotional day," Richards said after her team's win.

Her toughness would carry her through the rest of the season and help the team reaching the 2021 Division I Women's College Basketball Final Four. Although her team didn't achieve their ultimate goal, Richards' comeback was a victory that goes well beyond a basketball court.

The Texas native realized her ultimate goal of being drafted into the WNBA on Thursday as she was selected by the New York Liberty. She will make her WNBA debut on May 14 against the Indiana Fever. With toughness and determination, dreams do come true.

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content