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CU Buffs’ Maura Singer enjoys long-awaited return to court

Redshirt sophomore played first game in more than three-and-a-half years Monday

University of Colorado Boulder's Maura Singer (No. 20) drives around Colorado School of Mines's Courtney Stanton (No. 45) at CU Events Center in Boulder on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)
University of Colorado Boulder’s Maura Singer (No. 20) drives around Colorado School of Mines’s Courtney Stanton (No. 45) at CU Events Center in Boulder on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

The box score from Monday night suggests Maura Singer didn’t do much.

The sophomore center didn’t score and pulled down just one rebound during Colorado’s 63-52 exhibition win against Colorado Mines.

In reality, though, Singer did a lot, and the key number for her was 8:08 – the amount of time she spent on the court during the game.

This is Singer’s third season at CU and Monday marked the first time she played for the Buffaloes. In fact, it was the first time she played in a game since 2018, her junior season at Columbine High School.

“I had adrenaline kicking this morning,” the redshirt sophomore said through a beaming smile after the game Monday night. “I was nervous in shootaround.”

Multiple knee injuries and numerous surgeries have kept Singer out of action for more than three-and-a-half years. While Monday’s game was only an exhibition, it was significant for Singer.

“It ended up being really good,” she said. “I was cheesing very hard. When I got in, I got all blushy-faced. My team was hyping me up, so they made it really easy for me.”

Singer averaged 9.5 points and 10.1 rebounds as a junior at Columbine, earning first-team All-State honors. After suffering a knee injury as a senior, CU head coach JR Payne stuck with her and Singer signed her letter of intent, joining the Buffs in the fall of 2019.

Further knee issues kept Singer from playing each of the past two seasons, but she never stopped working or being around the team.

“Maura is probably one of the toughest people I know,” said point guard Jaylyn Sherrod, who also came to CU in 2019. “I mean, she comes in every day; even when she was recovering, she would come in, be vocal in practice, she would be in the moment, she would be working her working recovery.

“She just always stayed in the moment, so you just appreciate people that like when they’re going through their own stuff and then they still find a way to put the team first and that’s what Maura has done these past two years.”

Throughout those two years, Payne had hoped to get Singer on the court at some point but wasn’t sure when. She was always impressed with Singer’s work ethic, however.

“Maura has been through multiple major surgeries and has never backed down and has never shied away from kicking butt in the training room,” Payne said. “She has worked unbelievably hard for these opportunities and her teammates are proud of her. I’m proud of her. And I know she and her family are also proud.”

Singer has played plenty of basketball in practice during recent weeks, but this was her first chance to be on the main stage. She didn’t put up big stats, but looked comfortable on the court and even logged a pair of assists, which impressed Sherrod, the Buffs’ point guard.

“We came in together and for her to finally be able to play, it’s a good moment for all of us I think,” Sherrod said. “And she was throwing dimes today!”

CU has a guard-heavy roster, and in the frontcourt, Peanut Tuitele and Quay Miller are likely to get the most minutes. But, Singer and the Buffs are hoping she can provide some good depth off the bench, and Monday was a launching point.

“I fatigued but I feel like I’m doing pretty good,” she said. “It’s hard coming off of leg surgery; any surgery but especially leg surgery. To get those back and then to get your lungs back and then to get them together on one page, that’s kind of difficult but I mean it’s a day-by-day process that we’re all working on.”