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Bumps, bruises, breaks: Experience with injuries steers Roberts toward medicine

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(Philip Marruffo/pmarruffo@saukvalley.com)
Polo's Aleetra Roberts will play on the Telegraph team during Thursday's SVM All-Star Classic. The future Sauk Valley Skyhawk has plans of going into the medical field, thanks in part to a clumsy childhood that led to a lot bumps, bruises and breaks.

Aspiring physicians have their reasons for getting into their demanding line of work.

Perhaps they were ill as a child, and are motivated to keep others from being in their situation. Or maybe they had a family member who was sick, and being in hospitals is just a natural way of life.

For Aleetra Roberts, it is, at least in part, a matter of self-preservation.

"I'm accident-prone, so maybe it has something to do with that," said Roberts, before a practice for the Sauk Valley Media All-Star Classic. "I was always getting hurt growing up, and still am."

The Polo graduate wears braces for long-ago fractures to both ankles. One of them was from simply walking on a sidewalk, and her foot slipped off the cement and onto some grass.

There is also scar on her arm from when she stuck it through a window while in second grade.

"I was a big tomboy growing up," Roberts said, "so obviously I got hurt a lot."

Roberts will begin her studies at Sauk Valley Community College, then move on to a 4-year university. She is leaning toward Wisconsin or Loyola of Chicago.

She is unsure what she wants to specialize in, but being a neurologist is a possibility. She has occasionally suffered from migraines since middle school, and takes medication when one flares up – if getting some extra sleep doesn't do the trick.

"There's just so much we don't know about the brain," Roberts said, "and I still have problems with headaches. I just feel like that would be interesting to study more."

She will also play basketball at Sauk Valley, and the 5-foot-7 Roberts will have a new look to her game this winter. This past season's Polo squad was on the diminutive side, and she had to battle inside for the good of the team.

The Skyhawks have different plans.

"I definitely need to work on my dribbling," Roberts said. "I was a post in high school, and I know I'm going to be more a swing-type player. I need to be able to bring the ball up the court. That, and my outside shooting are what I'll need to work on."

As for Thursday, Roberts is just looking forward to having fun with a bunch of players she's largely unfamiliar with. One of her Telegraph squad teammates, Amboy's Autumn Smith, will be a teammate next year at Sauk.

"It's just going to be nice to play one more game in high school," she said, "before all of us move on to whatever we have planned."

Roberts file

High school: Polo, class of 2013

College: Sauk Valley C.C.

FYI: Averaged 14.2 points for Marcos as a senior. ... Is planning a career in medicine. ... Will play basketball at SVCC next season

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