Banham recovering from offseason blood clot

Betsy Helfand

Gophers women’s basketball star Rachel Banham said Friday that she has not been cleared to play after a blood clot was discovered in her lung this summer.

A sophomore captain, Banham said she hopes to be cleared Oct. 23, eight days before Minnesota’s first game Oct. 31.

“I’m kind of a sideline girl that cheers,” Banham said. “But once I come back, I’ll be ready to go. I’ll be fresh.”

Banham said she spent one night at the hospital, and she praised her teammates’ support throughout the ordeal.

She said she’s been able to bike but still needs to get back into “basketball shape.”

“When I’m finally cleared, those next couple days will be tough,” Banham said, “but once we get to playing, I’ll be fine.”

Banham was the team’s most prolific scorer last year as a point guard and earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors.

The Gophers open their season Oct. 31 with an exhibition game against Concordia-St. Paul. Their first regular-season game is Nov. 10.