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Despite the frustration of her injury and the challenges of rehab, Beard said she stayed positive and believes she learned a lot about herself while being out.

“Was it hard? Yes,” Beard said. “But at the same time, no, because I focused my mind on other things and started implementing other things into my life.”

Showing the maturity and selflessness of a true leader, Beard refers to her lost season as a blessing.

“It gave me a chance to sit on the sideline every single game and every practice and watch other players like Monique Currie and Crystal Langhorne develop into the players I knew they would be,” Beard said. “Me being out, it didn’t only help me, it helped our team.”