COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Amy Scullion had already graduated and been accepted to medical school at Ohio State. She figured she'd played her final basketball game for the Buckeyes last February.
Now she's back on the court. Sort of.
Scullion will balance her challenging medical-school schedule with the Buckeyes' practice and game schedule this season. A starter a year ago, she's returning to a team that is short-handed because one player was kicked off the team and three others sustained season-ending knee injuries in the preseason.
''I reached out to her when we had some of these injuries and she initially was very, very interested because she missed (playing),'' coach Kevin McGuff said on Thursday. ''But there were a lot of hoops we needed to jump through, No. 1 from an eligibility standpoint. And then secondly just from a practicality stance. Can she do what was required of her to be successful in medical school, which is the No. 1 priority?''
She'll give it a shot.
The Buckeyes open the season on Friday night at Virginia.
She'll miss some workouts, games and road trips along the way, but has been practicing with the Buckeyes lately. Maybe she can even offer some medical advice to her injured teammates.
She averaged 3.1 points and 3.9 rebounds a game last season for the Buckeyes, who went 17-18.
Before the team's final home game last February, Scullion, a redshirt junior because she also sat out a year after tearing a ligament in her knee during her freshman season, announced that she would end her career a year early so she could leave with the players with whom she came in.
''I'm going to go out with those guys,'' she said at the time. ''It was obviously a very tough decision. I really enjoy playing for coach (Kevin) McGuff.''
Now she's back playing for him.
McGuff said the eligibility issue wasn't a problem because she had a year left. But working through the logistics of fitting in basketball with a trying academic schedule was the hard part.
''She won't play the first three games but will be with us after that,'' McGuff said. ''There will be some accommodations for her schedule, like she could be late for practices on some days when she has classes or labs or tests or whatever.''
Not only is Scullion happy to be playing with her friends again, she's also helping out the Buckeyes, who are down to only seven scholarship players right now with a transfer eligible to join the team on Dec. 22.
''We're excited to have a chance to welcome her back,'' McGuff said.
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