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College basketball: Motivated by injury, Canby's Bailey Raines headed to Pacific Lutheran


by: JEFF GOODMAN / PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP - Canby guard Bailey Raines, whose senior season was cut short by a severe knee injury, will continue her basketball career at Pacific Lutheran University.Bailey Raines wasn’t sure she wanted to continue playing basketball after high school.

But after having her standout senior season at Canby halted by a heartbreaking knee injury, the decision became clearer.

“It fueled my fire,” she said. “I’m a competitor, so I wanted to keep going. I never realized how much I missed basketball until this happened. Next year, I would lose my sanity if I wasn’t playing.”

Raines recently committed to join the women’s basketball program at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., where she expects to play for coach Jennifer Childress.

The Lutes, who compete in Division III, were 7-18 overall and 3-13 in the Northwest Conference this past season.

PLU’s quest for improvement will coincide with Raines’ road to recovery.

It’s been a challenging several months for the talented 5-foot-8 guard, who damaged the anterior and medial cruciate ligaments as well as the lateral and medial menisci in her left knee during the Cougars’ league game Feb. 14 against Oregon City.

Raines, who had been an integral player the entire year, was forced to watch from the sidelines for the final six games of the season. Her teammates rallied to earn Canby’s first playoff win since 2007.

“It was disappointing that I couldn’t be out there, knowing it was the end of my high school career,” she said. “It was humbling to realize that. Before, I took it for granted. We all talked and realized that it’s not a right to get to play. We should all be thankful. It was upsetting, but I was pretty proud of them.”

Raines had surgery March 19 — less than two weeks after the Cougars’ landmark campaign came to an end with a loss to Portland-Westview in the Class 6A second round. According to Raines, the operation involved removing part of her patellar tendon and drilling a hole through bone to reset her ACL with a metal pin.

She said she’s feeling “a lot better” now that she’s going through physical therapy and no longer relying on pain medication. But she’s still a ways away from being able to walk briskly and many more away from attacking the basket at game speed.

Raines has enjoyed basketball since first grade, when her father coached her local youth recreational team. She grew up playing alongside her brother, Josh, and sister, Jamie, and was drawn to the sport in part because she wasn’t very good at it.

“I was so bad, but it was so much fun,” she said. “When I was little, I always wanted to be the best one out there, and I had to work really hard to be one of the better players. Having to put so much work into it is what kept me motivated.”

Raines was involved in other sports, too — she spent time with the softball, cross-country and track and field programs at Canby High School — but basketball ranked No. 1 on her list.

Raines had a breakout campaign as a sophomore under former coach Heather Roberts, but her junior season under Brooke Cates was dampened slightly by issues with asthma.

After working hard in the offseason to mitigate her breathing problems, Raines emerged as an aggressive but savvy senior who manufactured offense with her defensive pressure.

She earned second-team all-league recognition this year despite missing the last three games of the regular season.

Raines said she considered giving up on her athletic career and attending Oregon State. But she’s glad there’s more hoops in her future at PLU, where she intends to major in either chemistry or biology as she pursues a career in medicine.

“I put so much time into basketball, and I really like the school,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a really good fit.”