Women's Basketball Bad Luck Continues

If Alabama women's basketball didn't have bad luck, it wouldn't have any luck at all. That's the way it seems after the Crimson Tide lost its best player for the year before the season started and then lost its only senior and leader this week.

Alabama women's basketball senior Ericka Russell has received a medical disqualification due to previous knee injuries, which has ended her career for the Crimson Tide.

Before the season started, it had been announced that 6-1 sophomore star Kamneisha Horn had suffered an off-season knee injury that would miss the 2011-12 season.

"Ericka Russell is the epitome of a student-athlete," said Alabama Coach Wendell Hudson. "She has already graduated and is in the process of receiving her master's degree. She came to practice every day and always gave her best. She has had chronic knee issues since she got here. It was time for her to think about her future and what was best for her long term. This is obviously tough from a team standpoint, but we really want what is best for her."

Alabama's first game without Russell will be Thursday night at Florida.

Russell, a 5-7 guard from Tuscaloosa, has been a steady fixture in the Tide lineup since joining the squad in 2008. She has started in all but 11 games throughout her career and became the 23rd member of Alabama's 1,000 Point Club on November 12, 2011, against Nicholls State. She earned Most Valuable Player honors at the 2011 Paradise Jam after averaging 17.7 points per game, including a season-high 29 against Old Dominion. Russell finishes her career as one of the best three-point shooters in program history, ranking fourth in three-point field goals made (212) as well as three-point field goals attempted (709).

"After talking to my family and the doctors and praying about it, it is in my best interest, long term, to hang up my shoes," said Russell. "I have enjoyed my career here and will leave having accomplished what I set out to do in earning two degrees. I have met a lot of special people along the way that have helped me and will forever be grateful for that."

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