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Credit: Son Nguyen

Liz Satter is one of the most impactful members of Penn women’s basketball. However, the senior hasn't played a minute since her freshman year.

It’s been three years since Satter has played at the Palestra – three years since the forward has been healthy. During the past three seasons, Satter has been sidelined by three different injuries. And yet, despite not having the chance to play, she has found different ways to be a leader in the locker room and an important contributor to her team. 

Satter grew up in a basketball family – her grandfather played at the University of Chicago. Satter started playing basketball in the sixth grade, struggling in her early years, but once she found her footing, there was no turning back. By the end of high school, the standout had earned three varsity letters, served as team captain, and been a nominee for Illinois Ms. Basketball.

“Growing up, it was really nice to have people who knew the sport and could help coach me in basketball," Satter said. “It was also just a great way to connect with my family."

Coming to Penn, the shift from high school to college basketball was not an easy transition for Satter. The speed and strength of the game increased. The hours got longer. And the players got better. But it was Satter’s love of the sport that kept her going through the hard times.

“When I started preseason workouts freshman year, they had given me a packet in the summer, so I thought I would be ready to go and knew what to expect,” said Satter. “I was feeling really good and strong, but then it’s like, oh my God, I'm not ready to go, but having the coaches here and the team, it’s truly a family environment."

Credit: Zihan Chen

Rather than a time to shine on the court, freshman year was a chance for Satter to develop as a player in order to become an asset for the team during her sophomore year. Satter would spend the next few years plagued by injury, effectively ending her college basketball career. 

In the summer after her freshman year, Satter broke the tibula and fibula in her left leg during a training session. A few months later, Satter suffered a stress fracture in that same leg while in physical therapy. And as if her luck couldn’t get any worse, Satter tore her ACL and meniscus this past summer training for her senior season.

“I never really doubted that I would play basketball again," Satter said. “From the get-go, I thought I would be ready to play soon, and I never took the chance to think about how much it affected me and how much essentially my body failed me."

In spite of these injuries, Satter has found ways to contribute to the Red and Blue. Off the court, she is the team's biggest supporter. She cheers for her teammates, lifts their spirits, and gives them guidance. 

“Liz is the best at getting you in your peak mental zone," junior forward Christina DiCindio said. “She is really good at recognizing when players are frustrated and knowing how to coach each individual player in those moments."

Satter has also started working for Penn Athletics Media, where she pursues her passion for photography. Additionally, Satter has started a video segment called “Lattes with Liz,” where she talks with her teammates about their lives outside of basketball.

Satter has been the ultimate team player these past three years. Although injuries have kept her off the court, her teammates on the court couldn’t play without her.