CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia State University senior forward Asia Greenleaf has been through a lot throughout her career with the Yellow Jacket women's basketball team.
The former Parkersburg South standout has suffered several major knee injuries, left the program, and went through a coaching change.
Through it all, Greenleaf has persevered, and will be a major factor for State in her final season with the program.
Greenleaf and the Yellow Jackets open their season this weekend when State hosts the Mountain East Conference/Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association challenge in Institute.
State will open against Chowan University at 5:30 p.m. Friday. The two-day event also features the University of Charleston and Johnson C. Smith University.
"I'm very excited," Greenleaf said. "It's a bittersweet moment. It's my last year. Our first practice, I was like 'oh my gosh, it's my last, first practice ever.' I'm very anxious and ready to go."
Greenleaf's struggles have included a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and, at the end of the 2012 season, she and three other teammates left the program in March prior to the departure of then-coach Renee Bostic, who stepped down four months later.
David Smith was hired to take over the State women's program, and several factors led to Greenleaf returning.
"I overcome two ACL tears and then it got to a point to where I didn't want to play anymore, and then the coaching change came," Greenleaf said. "After I had quit the team, I noticed I missed it. My teammates were on me everyday to come back.
"The new opportunity came with the new coach (Smith) and the athletic director (Sean Loyd) let me know if I was interested, the coach would like to have me. I was able to meet with coach and the team."
Smith said Greenleaf had a lot of questions before she was to rejoin the program.
"Asia wanted to hear our philosophy and if things were going to be different than before," Smith said. "She asked a lot of questions and how this or that would be handled and how certain situations would be treated. She felt comfortable it would be different and an improvement."
From there, according to Greenleaf, the rest is history and she was welcomed back to the team.