Fifth-year senior forward Monique Reid is the last holdover from Louisville’s team that faced UConn in the 2009 NCAA tournament final in St. Louis. When she takes the court tonight at New Orleans Arena in the final game of her career, she will have come full circle.
Reid and the Cardinals are again looking to earn their first national championship. Again, the Huskies are blocking their path.
Reid had seven points (2-of-9 FG) and three rebounds in 24 minutes in the previous meeting with UConn. And the memory that has stood the test of time is not one that you would initially think of.
“I always tell people that my greatest memory was playing against Tina Charles,’’ Reid said. “I remember she blocked my shot three times in a row. But I got three rebounds, though. I shot. Blocked. And I got it. I shot. Blocked it. Got it. I pump faked again. Blocked it to the band. And then she tapped me on my butt and she was like, `That’s alright. Good job.’ And I just always thought it was funny. And I saw her early this summer and I told her about it and we were just laughing about it. But that’s probably one of my greatest memories. I thought it was just pretty funny. I always looked up to her so I thought that was pretty funny.’’
Reid is a warrior. She had microfracture surgery on her left knee last season. She re-injured the knee in January, tweaked it again in the national semifinals against California Sunday and will again undergo surgery after the season. She said that she is in constant pain and that her knee is at 50 percent strength right now.
If you notice tonight Reid has a half-sleeve tattoo on her upper left arm. She got it in mid-December and it is a source of inspiration for her.
“I know that that a tattoo’s probably not everybody’s biggest thing,’’ Reid said. “But it means a lot to me and everything I’ve been through. My grandmother died about a month ago so I have one in an inspiration to her. They just mean a lot to me. I wear them proudly and I’m not a thug or anything. I just wear them proudly.
“I have `A star was born on my birthday.’’ And then I have `Life is a gift. Talent is a blessing.’ And then I have `Pain is weakness leaving the body.’ I’m big on quotes. And I’ve always been like that. I just needed something to remind me every day that I can do this. They help me a lot. I love all my tattoos.’’
Reid, who also has “family’’ tattooed on the underside of her left wrist, will graduate May 11 with degrees in human health and performance, secondary education and public health.