December 9, 2022 

Tamari Key ruled out for season as Tennessee’s rough start continues

Key will miss the remainder of the 2022-23 season due to blood clots

On Thursday, Tennessee Vols head coach Kellie Harper told media that center Tamari Key will miss the remainder of the 2022-23 season due to blood clots in her lungs.

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According to the press release, physicians discovered blood clots in Key’s lungs after testing; she is expected to make a full recovery. She will be cared for at the University of Tennessee Medical Center and by Tennessee Athletics team physicians. 

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Key released a statement on her Instagram following the news thanking her teammates and sharing her thoughts.

“While I am disappointed to see my season come to an end, I am grateful to have had the issue properly identified and diagnosed,” Key wrote. “I look forward to emerging from this setback stronger than expected.”

Key is a current senior on the Lady Vols squad, averaging 8.9 ppg and 6.1 rpg over her career. Key’s statistics have been trending upward season after season, and Tuesday’s game was the first game she missed in her Tennessee career.

Due to COVID-19 protocols Key still has an additional year of eligibility in the NCAA.

Key and her 6’6 frame is a major part of Tennessee’s system. Her departure stacks on top the laundry list of unexpected twists the Vols have suffered, putting them at a record of 5-5 and a nationally-unranked status. Her absence will be particularly felt after leading-scorer Rickea Jackson was put on indefinite leave Sunday.

Harper told The Next on Wednesday there is still no timeline and update for Jackson’s return.

After her season news broke, Key has been receiving support via social from her team, coach and fellow NCAA players like Aliyah Boston and Cameron Brink.

Tennessee encouraged anyone to send well wishes to Key at Lady Vol Basketball Office, 207 Thompson-Boling Arena, 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way, Knoxville, TN 37996.

Written by Gabriella Lewis

Gabriella is The Next's Atlanta Dream and SEC beat reporter. She is a Bay Area native currently studying at Emory University.

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