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Chicago Sky's Izzy Harrison beats back adversity to return to court

Sky's Izzy Harrison shows resilience after season-delaying injury
Sky's Izzy Harrison shows resilience after season-delaying injury 03:13

DEERFIELD, Ill. (CBS) -- Isabelle Harrison is happy to be back playing basketball for the Chicago Sky after plenty of adversity.

She started her WNBA career in 2015 coming back from a torn ACL, and another serious knee injury delayed her start this season.

But now that she is back on the court, Harrison is making a difference in more ways than one.

"One of my first tattoos when I was out says, 'Faith over fear,' and I look at that almost every day just to know like, don't be fearful what's out there," Harrison said. "God has prepared me to be in this moment. I've done all the preparation I possible could, and I'm here to stay."

Harrison signed with the Sky in 2023, but missed all of last season due to torn left meniscus that needed surgery. She said the surgery initially left her unable to walk.

"I've never had a surgery like this. this is by far my hardest surgery I've ever had. So it wears on you sometimes mentally, but I knew it would pay off once I got to step back on the court, and that's what I've been able to do," said Harrison. "Obviously it took me a few games to kind of get going but I have my confidence now."

She stepped on the court for the first this season against the Seattle Storm.

"You know what it felt?" she said. "It felt exciting, but it felt normal—like this is where I'm supposed to be."

Harrison said she leaned heavily on her faith throughout the rehab process, along with coaches, friends, and her family.

"I'm one of 12, number 10 out of 12," she said. "I've always been surrounded by my family they've been my first best friends forever."

But in 2017, Harrison's sister, Danielle, passed away from lupus—a chronic autoimmune disease that causes pain and inflammation throughout the body while attacking its organs.

"There was always things that I wish I could have done, but I necessarily didn't have the tools at that time, and honestly didn't really know how severe the situation was," she said.

Harrison's older brother, Daniel, is currently battling lupus.

"So with it being so prevalent in my family, my other sister having lupus as well, and having him be as sick as he is, obviously, I'm just trying to be as resourceful as possible," she said.

The family has been searching for a kidney donor for Daniel for over a year.

"Since when I was little, I always remember him being in his room doing dialysis," Harrison said. "So honestly, when he first got his surgery and it worked well, I was happy. But now, he has to get another, you know, transplant."

Harrison has been using her platform and social media to help spread awareness for her brother, who also supports her.

"He was just at the Indiana game when we recently played there. So he's always been like my number one fan for forever," Harrison said. "Because of lupus, he wasn't able to use his athletic abilities, and we always said my brother Daniel and sister Della probably the most athletic out of all of us."

Despite the adversity off the court, Harrison is always in good spirits on it.

"Don't ever look at anything that you're going through as a loss—look at it as a lesson. And that's something I try to apply for myself, and it changes my perspective of everything. I look at everything as positive, optimistic outlook," she said, "because the moment you let any fear or doubt creep inside you, that's where you start losing hope. And I'm not like that. My mom didn't raise me like that."

When asked what made the Sky unique this season, Harrison said it is the team's fight. And Harrison has fought herself, successfully, to get back on the court.

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