BELLS — Before Katie Branam’s freshman year was set to begin, she suffered the one injury that might keep her sidelined until she became a sophomore.
The forward tore the ACL in her right knee back in April and started the rehab process as soon as she could.
“In the beginning I was scared because I didn’t know the recovery time,” Branam said. “That was my goal, get back and playing with the team.”
Branam debuted with a strong effort — 13.1 points and six rebounds per game — and helped the Lady Panthers make the postseason.
“Once I got back in the swing of things, got used to the brace back on the court, it felt like I did before,” Branam said.
For her first impression on the area, Branam has been named the Herald Democrat All-Texomaland Girls Basketball Newcomer of the Year for the 2013-14 season.
Bells was 21-9 after a bi-district loss to Gunter and a third-place finish — up from sixth — in the 11-2A standings.
Branam, who also averaged two assists and two steals per game while shooting 80 percent from the free-throw line, shared the 11-2A Offensive Player of the Year honors with Pottsboro’s Macie O’Hanlon.