Monique Reid: "I'm not a quitter"

NEW ORLEANS – Monique Reid is the only player who has played on both Women's Final Four teams at the University of Louisville. It's only fitting the injury-riddled, senior has come up big in recent games for the Cardinals.

University of Louisville senior Monique Reid is not even close to being healthy, suffering all season from a knee injury.

Reid will have surgery after the season ends.

The 6-foot-1 Reid, a former ball girl for the U of L program, has limped to the finish line of her career. But she's also made history.

Reid, who hit two free throws to seal the stunning victory over No. 1 Baylor last weekend, will become the all-time leader in games played at U of L on Sunday night when she enters the Final Four game against California.

"I would be a fool to say I am not hurting," Reid told Cardinal Authority. "But I am just fighting through it. It's just been amazing. It's hurting but it's fun.

"It's just been an amazing ending."

Reid, a high school standout at Fern Creek, started 13 games and played in 36 as a freshman when the Cardinals went to the national championship game and lost to Connecticut. She averaged 5.9 points a game that season.

A first-team All-Big East player the next two seasons, Reid only played in eight games last season because of a knee injury.

She came back this season but has only played in 28 games and started just once because she's been bothered by the knee the entire season.

"I can honestly say, she's probably 50 percent," U of L coach Jeff Walz said. "I just admire her because she's just willing to continue to fight."

Reid said there were "plenty of times," this season when she considered shutting it down and calling it quits for her career.

"Oh yeah," she said. "But I just decided I had to fight through it."

Walz said after Reid was re-injured the knee in January she was told she would need surgery to repair the damage – again. She missed five games after the injury and has been limited in minutes since the setback.

"She wanted to play," Walz said. "There was no doubt in my mind that's what she wanted to do. She's been so great for our program."

Reid battled and now is ending on top.

Her free throws clinched the Baylor game and she played 33 minutes and scored 12 points against Tennessee to reach the Final Four.

Reid – who ranks fifth on the school's all-time scoring list – will play in her 140th game on Sunday night. Angel McCoughtry, who led the Cardinals to the '09 title, was the previous leader in games played with 139.

"I'm not a quitter," Reid said. "I wanted to finish the season and I didn't care if it was on one leg. This is an amazing way to finish it, at the Final Four.

"It's going to be fun and then I will graduate I want to walk across the state before (surgery) and I'm on crutches."

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