University of Louisville senior Shawnta Dyer said she "never thought" about giving up basketball despite a rash of injuries throughout her career.
Dyer is in her fifth season at U of L but she's only played two full years because of the injuries that mounted. She will be one of five seniors who go through Senior Night at 7 o'clock when the Cardinals play host to Boston College.
"I never thought about quitting," she said. "That just was never in my vocabulary because this program has had so much success, and I just wanted to be a part of it."
The 6-foot-1 Dyer came to U of L from Marion, Ohio, with lofty expectations but those were hampered by injuries in each of her first four years at U of L.
She's playing healthy for the entire season as a first time now and averaging 7.8 points and 5.4 rebounds for the Cardinals (23-4), who are ranked No. 8 in the country. The senior class has been involved with 108 victories.
"Shawnta has been great," U of L coach Jeff Walz said. "She has worked so hard through everything and she has been a lot. And that's why she has meant so much to us.
"I knew with Shawnta what we were getting. There was never a question that she was going to work hard to get back - she did every time - and when she did give us her best."
Dyer was set to start as a freshman during the 2010-11 season but broke a bone in her heel during a preseason scrimmage and was took a medical redshirt.
In 2011-12, Dyer played in all 33 games and averaged 7.3 points and 5.1 rebounds but she suffered a sports hernia late in the season and had surgery. She then started the first 10 games of the 2012-13 season before suffering a torn ACL and MCL in her left knee.
And then last season, Dyer played in 15 games before missing the rest of the season with a stress fracture in her hip.
"I think that's it," Dyer said with a smile when asked to run down her injuries. "It's been a lot and it's been a tough time but I wouldn't trade anything because I;ve been with my teammates and it's been a great year this year."
Dyer, whose minutes in practice and games have been monitors closely by Walz and his staff, has scored in double figures in four of the past five games. She has 10 double-figures games this season and has started three of 27 games.
Walz said she's been "so dependable," and noted that she's one of the better players on the defensive end and a great leader.
"She's been great," Walz said. "Like I've said, we know what we are getting from her and she's really made our team a lot better."
Dyer hopes to play ball overseas after her college career and has already graduated and will finish graduate school next fall.
But now, she wants to finish her playing career with a few more wins.
"My body feels amazing," Dyer said. "It's so much fun to play and be able to help the team. I feel so confident and I just want to help us win."