Tamari Key, who sat out Tennessee’s 69-39 win over Chattanooga on Tuesday, will miss the remainder of the season after blood clots were found in her lungs, the team announced.
The Vols senior has been an integral part of the roster since her freshman year. Tuesday’s game was the first she had missed since beginning her career at Tennessee.
Here's to a speedy recovery, TK 🧡 pic.twitter.com/aad7TRlnWM— Lady Vols Basketball (@LadyVol_Hoops) December 8, 2022
Here's to a speedy recovery, TK 🧡 pic.twitter.com/aad7TRlnWM
“My sole concern right now is that Tamari continues to get the medical care and guidance she needs and begins the gradual process of healing and returning to full strength,” coach Kellie Harper told reporters Thursday. “This is much bigger than basketball.
“We are so grateful that this medical condition was caught. Our entire program will be right beside Tamari during this process and welcomes prayers and positive thoughts from Lady Vol Nation and beyond.”
Key averaged 8.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks through nine games this season. During her junior year, she averaged 10.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per contest.
The 6-6 center also holds the career record for blocks at Tennessee. She surpassed Candace Parker’s previous record of 275 during the 2021-22 season, and she set the program’s single-season record with 119.
We love you so much, Tamari Key!!! 🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡@tamarikey___— Kellie Harper (@KellieHarper) December 8, 2022
We love you so much, Tamari Key!!! 🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡@tamarikey___
The senior’s medical condition is just the latest in a string of bad luck for the Vols to start their season. After sitting at No. 5 in the preseason, Tennessee has gone 5-5 and dropped out of the polls completely.
Jillian Hollingshed and Jasmine Franklin are both out with concussion protocol, though both are expected to return. Meanwhile, Rickea Jackson is out indefinitely due to what Kelley Harper has called “a coach’s decision.”
The Vols still have several difficult games on their schedule, starting with No. 2 Stanford on Dec. 18. Then they play No. 6 UConn, No. 11 LSU, No. 21 Arkansas and No. 1 South Carolina before the regular season closes.