Chanel Sam, a senior wing for No. 10 Jackson, did indeed break her right hand in Wednesday’s 68-52 home loss to Edmonds-Woodway as orginally suspected.
Jackson coach Jeannie Thompson said an X-ray revealed “a break in the middle of her hand” and that she’ll “get some pins put in there during her surgery (next) Wednesday.” Her earliest return would be for the Class 4A state tournament (which begins March 3), but that’s certainly not a given.
“To say this is a worst-case scenario is an understatement,” said Thompson, whose team’s only losses are to the Warriors.
Without the multi-dimensional Sam (6.9 ppg) — who often guards the opponents’ top perimeter threat due to her tremendous length and exceptional athleticism, Jackson (11-2, 9-2 WesCo South) will be hard-pressed to catch E-W (12-1, 10-1). While Western Washington-bound Erin Feeney (18.5 ppg) gets a lot of the notoriety, a case can be made that the 5-10 Sam is actually the Timberwolves’ most valuable player.
“She brings so many intangibles,” said Thompson, referencing Sam’s court presence, as well as her propensity for steals and blocks. “In fact, I don’t know if you can grab anyone off another team in WesCo and ask her to do all the things that Chanel does.”
Life without Sam begins Friday when Jackson hosts Shorewood.