basketball-women-d1 flag

Doug Feinberg | The Associated Press | November 30, 2017

Rutgers star Scaife thriving after missing year to fix heart defect

  Scaife is leading a surging Rutgers team with nearly 20 points per game.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Tyler Scaife went for a routine physical a few years ago that turned out to be anything but normal.

This was after her sophomore year and doctors detected a heart murmur. After further testing, it was discovered Rutgers' star guard had a congenital heart defect. Scaife was shocked at the diagnosis.


Follow @ncaawbb
"I said 'I play basketball I can't have a heart murmur,'" she recalled Wednesday after practice. "Then they did a lot of tests and it came back that I did."

Scaife played her junior year and was closely monitored by the training staff. She put off surgery until after that season and redshirted last year.

"It wasn't drastic, I could have waited, I decided that I want to go and get it over with," she said. "That's what I ended up doing. It wasn't a life or death situation. It was something that eventually needed to be done and I thought why not get it done."

Team of the Week: Notre Dame serves notice to the rest of the country

The surgery corrected an atrial septal defect.

"When I tell people, it sounds very scary, but it wasn't as scary as it seems," she said. "It's made me better endurancewise. I feel a lot better. I'm very happy that I did it."

Scaife was helped through the ordeal by former teammate Briyona Canty, who had open-heart surgery when she played for the Scarlet Knights.

"She gave me a lot of advice on what I'd be feeling, how it would be," Scaife said. "She kept it cool. It sounds bad but it's not as bad as it seems. Bri was there for me the whole time through it. Anytime I had a question I could call her."

Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer has always been impressed by Scaife on the court. But Stringer was inspired by how the 5-foot-9 guard dealt with this setback.

"I admire her," Stringer said. "I don't know if I can handle things as well as she did. I'm extremely proud of her. She handled a lot of stuff."

Now Scaife is back and leading Rutgers, which has won five of its first seven games. She is averaging 19.1 points in just 25 minutes a game.

Women's basketball: 50 named to Naismith Trophy watch list

"I do feel a lot better. My energy is a lot higher," Scaife said.

Mentally, it was tough for her last season, sitting and watching her teammates struggle to just six victories.

"I felt I could be out there to help them with things," Scaife said. "At practice I took advantage to help a lot of the younger players."

She also spent hours in the gym late at night working on her game.

"I didn't play in games so I had a lot of energy," she said.

Scaife hopes to eventually play in the WNBA or overseas, or both. But, for now, there's a season to play that took a long way to reach.

This article was written by Doug Feinberg from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

College wrestling rankings: Garden State Grapple results cause shuffle

The top 10 college wrestling teams in this week’s NWCA poll held steady, but the previous week still featured a slew of action-packed duals that shook up the standings in the bottom half of the Top 25. Here are the key takeaways from this week’s rankings and the main headlines you need to know heading into the winter tournaments. 

College wrestling: Top storylines to follow at the Garden State Grapple

In an event designed to “celebrate humankind’s original form of recreational combat,” the first-annual Garden State Grapple at the Prudential Center will feature three Top-25 college wrestling teams as well as the strength of the Hofstra Pride. These are three storylines you’ll want to know before following this unconventional, exciting, wrestling event.

These are the best father-son, junior-senior duos in college basketball

Many current college basketball players have fathers who played college basketball, so we asked which duos would make the best team in a hypothetical 2-on-2 tournament.

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from and our partners