Many athletes coming off a severe knee injury are timid upon return. They don’t always trust the knee to hold up when they make their first cut or change of direction.
Union senior Mason Oberg didn’t have that problem. Far from it. After a full tear of her ACL and a meniscus tear forced Oberg to miss her junior season, the do-it-all point guard couldn’t wait to return to the court.
“When they told me I could run, I was trying to practice,” Oberg said. “My dad and AAU coach were getting mad at me because I wasn’t cleared and told me I was going to hurt myself.”
Oberg responded: “You don’t know me. I’m going to do what I want. I was doing whatever it took to get back.”
Oberg injured her knee in an AAU tournament in July 2018. She returned to the full-game action in May 2019. By winter, she was ready to lead a talented Union girls basketball squad.
And lead she did, carrying the Titans to the program’s first state trophy: a fifth-place Class 4A finish.
She averaged 16.5 points, four rebounds and three assists per game and was named the 4A Greater St. Helens League Player of the Year.
For her efforts, she has been named The Columbian’s All-Region Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
“From the beginning, we knew we could have a really special group,” Oberg said.
While missing a year of basketball was disheartening for the 5-foot-5 ultra-competitive Oberg, she also learned a lot about her own game by sitting on the sidelines.
Primarily, she saw the pace of the game from a different vantage point, and it helped her slow down when she returned.