USC’s Jacki Gemelos Makes Long-Awaited WNBA Debut|
June 25, 2015
Four and a half years after her fifth ACL reconstruction surgery, Jacki Gemelos has hit the pinnacle in her comeback path. Last week, finally, Gemelos realized her dream, hitting the floor for her first official minutes as a WNBA player.
After spending six years at USC, Gemelos left Troy with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. She was selected in the 2012 WNBA draft but did not make the final roster cuts. Undeterred, Gemelos played on and started her professional career overseas. To no one’s surprise, she crafted a successful career for herself abroad, and her efforts earned her another look from the WNBA. The Chicago Sky brought Gemelos back into the fold this summer, released her, and then called her up again this month.
On June 19, Gemelos made her WNBA debut for the Sky. Coincidentally, the opposing coach was a familiar face for Gemelos. Former USC head coach Michael Cooper — who coached Gemelos at Troy from 2009-12. Cooper was on staff when Gemelos played her first collegiate game as a Trojan in 2009. Last week, he was on the opposite bench for Gemelos’ WNBA debut.
Back in December 2011, when that last knee injury was sustained, Gemelos’ resolve was still intact. Below is a video interview with Gemelos from that time, when she knew she had another surgery standing between her and her dreams.
Quite clearly, Gemelos has something special. She has fought on through an unimaginable number of setbacks, keeping her focus on the game she loves and keeping her dream alive.
Read more about Jacki’s journey in Doug Feinberg’s AP article.
Follow Jacki Gemelos’ WNBA action with the Chicago Sky at sky.wnba.com