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Injury sidelines highly regarded girls basketball player Leilani Kapinus of Madison Memorial

December 5, 2018

Madison Memorial junior Leilani Kapinus, one of the top female basketball recruits nationally in the class of 2020, has been sidelined by an injury suffered in the Spartans’ girls basketball victory over Madison East on Friday night.

The extent of the injury hadn’t been determined yet, Madison Memorial girls basketball coach Marques Flowers said Monday morning.

Kapinus was scheduled to have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam, Flowers said.

The knee injury occurred during a free-throw attempt in the late stages of Memorial’s 55-48 victory at East. A teammate missed a free throw, Kapinus grabbed the loose ball on the rebound, came down, gathered herself and was hurt when she planted, Flowers said.

“We are hoping for the best,” said Flowers, who wasn’t certain whether the injury would sideline Kapinus for a short term or whether it was more serious.

Last season ended with Kapinus tearing the posterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in a WIAA Division 1 regional final game in February, also against Madison East. She returned to win the Big Eight Conference high jump title in mid-May and finish 11th in the high jump at the Division 1 state track and field meet in June prior to her breakout summer playing AAU basketball.

This injury also is to her right knee, Flowers confirmed.

The 5-foot-11 Kapinus is the ninth-ranked player nationally in Dan Olson’s ESPNW HoopGurlz Super 60 rankings for the Class of 2020. College coaches have been attending her games this season.

Her stock exploded nationally while playing for Wisconsin Flight Elite this summer. Her scholarship offers increased from five to 22, including the four in-state NCAA Division I programs.

Kapinus had 12 points against East before leaving the game and is averaging 17.2 points per game. She also has been leading the Spartans in rebounds, steals and blocked shots.

Madison Memorial, ranked fourth in Division 1 in the WisSports.net poll, is 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the Big Eight Conference.

Kapinus and Janesville Parker senior center Julia Hartwig were expected to be top players in the Big Eight this season, but UW-Green Bay commit Hartwig has been ruled out for the season with a shoulder injury.

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