BYU women's basketball: Haley Hall Steed moving past knee-deep adversity

Published: Friday, Dec. 23 2011 7:00 p.m. MST

"She taught, not just me, but she taught a lot of girls on the team that when you have a dream you go for it," said Judkins. "And you give everything you have, and no matter how ups and downs are, how you react to failure or disappointment is the key to your life. She's taught me a lot that way. As a coach, when things don't go right, I look at Haley and think, 'Hey, she's had it harder than anybody else, and she's still going.'"

Steed said she no longer slashes to the basket with the same reckless abandon that defined her game in high school. But she is smarter about getting teammates involved and picking her moment to strike.

"It's tough physically, but it's a lot tougher emotionally and mentally," she said of the battle to come back from such a debilitating injury. "Just learning to trust your body over and over again, especially when you trust it and it fails, and you trust it and it fails. It's hard to come back to really trust that it's not going to fail you again. If it's happened three times, why not four?"

And while she said the injuries changed the way she plays the game, they haven't kept her from being one of the best point guards in the women's game. She currently leads the West Coast Conference in assists and assist-to-turnover ratios. More importantly, she is providing the young Cougar squad with leadership.

"I've never seen a kid go through what she's gone through and have the heart of a lion to keep competing," Judkins said. "She's finally playing her true position and I think you see how good she is and what she can do with our team. When she's off the floor, the team is not the same."

Email: adonaldson@desnews.com

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