MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It has been a long off-season for the University of Miami women’s basketball team. Four members were injured in a terrifying car crash over the summer which caused a lot of angst for their teammates and the head coach. But the women are on the road to recovery.
Krystal Saunders, Necole Sterling and Suriya McGuire are glad to be together again on the court after a frightening 4th of July.READ MORE: ‘I Know What That Pain Feels Like’: Parkland Parents Heartbroken After School Shooting In Michigan
“Like I just thought I was dead,” said McGuire
Their car was totaled on the Florida Turnpike when a car in front of them suddenly spun out of control just north of Commercial Boulevard.
“He just stopped which made his car completely spin out and we just, and I tried to hit like mainly on my side so nobody else would get hurt, but it didn’t happen that way,” explained McGuire.
The players were bruised and bloodied. Another team mate Michelle Woods got the worst of it. She suffered a broken sternum that is still keeping her sidelined from basketball.
When asked by CBS4’s Jim Berry what doctors are saying about her basketball future, she replied, “As of right now we don’t know. I’m just taking it slowly, day by day.”
Their coach Katie Meier was in Colorado getting a team of American stars ready for an international tournament. She thought of returning to Miami, but was re-assured it was OK to travel on to Lithuania.READ MORE: Miami Art Week Kicks Off With VIP Party
“Then I saw this video that they made and that just, I was done, I was done, it was beautiful,” said Meier.
Her UM team, players, and coaches sent her a patriotic video urging her to bring back a gold medal. It had cameos from UM President Donna Shalala and Athletic Director Blake James.
But it was seeing the injured players for the first time that moved Meier to tears.
“It meant so much because they were moving, they were smiling, they were waving, they were dancing, Ray breaks down and just does a little James Brown number in the middle of the video, and I’m just like ‘Okay! She’s okay!’ If she can dance like that, that’s better than I’ve ever moved in my life so she’s going to be alright.”
The girls said they wished they could have seen Coach Meier in person as she watched the video for the first time just to see her expression.
“Definitely, definitely she even asked the whole team to come up to her hotel room to watch it with her.”
The players say they now appreciate every moment on the court. Their tough coach admits it is now hard to be as tough.MORE NEWS: ‘Camping In A Glamorous Way’: Hollywood Condo Residents Keep Chins Up After Fire Leaves Them In The Dark
“I get a little bit mad and I go, ‘God I love ya.’ You know, so I’ve lost that edge a little bit. It does rock you and it makes you just want to hug them when you see them.”