LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky Women’s basketball freshman Tionna Herron is recovering from successful open-heart surgery, it was announced by head Coach Kyra Elzy on Tuesday.
The Wildcat is expected to return to campus in early October, where she will continue her rehabilitation until she receives the all-clear to return to normal activity.
“Prior to Tionna arriving in Lexington in June, she was made aware of a structural abnormality involving her heart,” said Senior Athletic Trainer Courtney Jones. “When she got to campus to begin her collegiate career, we consulted second opinions and surgical repair was recommended before returning to athletics at a high level. Tionna underwent successful open-heart surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas, on Aug. 24, and she is in the process of recovering at her home in DeSoto, Texas.”
“Tionna is the definition of a warrior,” Elzy said. “When surgical repair was recommended, she was so intentional and mature in making her decision. Now, we are gratefully on the other side of her open-heart surgery and cheering her on as she begins her comeback. Her will and determination to eventually return to the court is inspiring, and it’s that game on attitude that is what makes her such a perfect fit in our program. Speaking for myself and the rest of the coaches, staff and players, we are so thrilled for Tionna’s return to our locker room; it’s not the same without our full team together.”
Herron, a 6-4 post from DeSoto, Texas, signed with Kentucky during the early signing period in November 2021. She was labeled a four-star prospect by ESPN.com and was ranked the 11th-best post player and 69th-best overall player in the class of 2022. The Athletic newcomer joined the program after leading DeSoto High School to back-to-back 6A Texas State Championships, including a 28-2 record in 2020-21 and a 35-2 record in 2021-22. Last season, she started for a Squad that was ranked No. 1 in MaxPreps’ Preseason Top 25 and No. 2 in MaxPreps’ Final Top 25.
Herron was named a two-time Texas Association of Basketball Coaches All-State selection her junior and senior years, averaging 16.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks last season.
There is no timetable for her return to game action.
For more information on the Kentucky Women’s basketball team, visit UKathletics.com or follow @KentuckyWBB on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.