It's been nearly a full year since Elena Basill suffered a severe concussion, but her coach and her team at St. Louis Park High School are now welcoming her back onto the ice.
"I've been in the game -- playing it or coaching it -- for a long time, and it's one of the worst things I ever saw," Coach Donnie Williams said of Basill's injury.
After 11 months, Basill is now back on the ice.
"I'm excited!" she said. "Very excited to play again."
When the sophomore laces up her skates, she'll be wearing some extra equipment out onto the rink -- including a neck guard and a Kevlar cap under a new helmet.
"It was a difficult decision, and there's no doubt we're nervous today," Basill's father, John, conceded.
It's Elena Basill's love of the game that brought her back, and the new camera system that can catch everything from practices to playoffs will help put John Basill's mind at ease.
"We've all agreed, if she has another concussion -- no matter the severity, mild or severe -- that would be it," he said.
He spearheaded the project because he wished her accident could have been caught on video so that doctors would have been able to learn more about the injury.
"I think that's really important, being able to see everything that happens," Elena Basill said.
Mostly, the coaches will use the camera footage as a teaching tool.
"Coaches can review this and go, 'Don't put yourself in this position,'" explained Steve Rosen, of the St. Louis Park Hockey Association.
Yet, while the cameras will certainly keep an eye on the players, officials stress it's still up to officials, coaches and players to keep the sport safe.
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