College

Concussions Force Stanford Women’s Guard Kokenis To Retire

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Kimetria Hayden #1 of the Baylor Bears drives in the first half against Toni Kokenis #31 of the Stanford Cardinal during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Kimetria Hayden #1 of the Baylor Bears drives in the first half against Toni Kokenis #31 of the Stanford Cardinal during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

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STANFORD (CBS/AP) — Stanford senior guard Toni Kokenis, a member of two women’s Final Four teams, has been forced to end her playing career following a pair of concussions over the past year.

The school made the announcement Friday that Kokenis would take a medical retirement but remain on the team as she works toward her degree in human biology.

Kokenis missed the final 14 games of the 2012-13 season, with Stanford saying only that she was sidelined with an undisclosed medical condition. Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer and Kokenis each had remained optimistic she might be able to return for her final season.

She didn’t play again after sustaining a second concussion on Feb. 3 at Oregon State. Stanford said her first concussion came during spring workouts in 2012, limiting her in preseason practice last fall.

Stanford missed the versatile Kokenis’ presence on both ends of the floor, as she was the team’s top defender.

In three seasons, she started 57 of the 91 games in which she played, averaging 24.6 minutes. She had career averages of 7.7 points and 2.40 assists a game and shot 39.3 percent from the field, with 66 3-pointers.

“Toni Kokenis has been an integral part of our program’s continued success and even though she won’t be on the court, we know she will continue to provide leadership and guidance to our team in her new role,” VanDerveer said. “We are saddened that this injury has ended her decorated playing career, but we all know that this is the right decision for Toni’s long-term well-being.”

Also Friday, Stanford said second-year forward Aly Beebe would miss the entire 2013-14 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in a knee during a recent summer workout. This is Beebe’s third ACL injury, after she had two during high school. She missed her freshman Stanford season with the injury after getting hurt in the spring of 2012.

It’s been a tough week for Cardinal basketball. On Tuesday morning, men’s team forward Andy Brown sustained a career-ending torn ACL in his right knee for his fourth such injury since 2009.

(Copyright 2013 CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved.)

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