Seattle Christian retires jersey No. 3

An excerpt form the "The Christian Athlete" by Dwayne K. Smith serves as the benchmark for excellence in glorifying Christ and excelling in sports.
The excerpt states the following:

I am a warrior for Christ, My number one goal is to glorify Him for He made me and gave me my talents. So I work hard, play hard,and fight to be the best! When I am at my best, people take notice and in me they will notice Christ!

On Jan. 18 as part of Homecoming at the Seattle Christian School gymnasium, family and friends gathered together to honor an athlete who displays these qualities in brief ceremonies to retire her beloved jersey No. 3.

Athletic director Craig Wrolstad went through a list of her great athletic accomplishments and health battles

Former Warrior head girls basketball coach Bob Kickner returned to relate his experience as Collier's coach for her first three seasons at SCS - including the 2009 state championship - spoke about her work ethic and strength of character.

Current coach Dave Jansen, who experienced Collier's determinedness and exemplary character as her mentor during the exhausting senior year of leukemia treatments and persistence to play when possible, also spoke admiringly about her achievements as an athlete and individual.

Then it was time for her family to unveil the framed home and away jerseys with the well-known No. 3. The away jersey was given to the family and the home jersey will have a prominent place at Seattle Christian High School.

During the ceremonies and as she addressed her friends and admirers, it was clear that the Warrior Creed described her.

An example of her persistence and upbeat attitude in the face of disappointment was shown to this writer last year.

It was on a sunny, August afternoon, after I spent a day at the University of Washington Medical Center for my scheduled post heart transplant blood draws, heart biopsy and cardiology examination that I ran into the Collier family escorting Katie, who was in a wheel chair for the purpose of further diagnosis of an injury she suffered on July 30, 2012.

On the first day of UW open-gym practices. Collier suffered what would be diagnosed as a torn anterior cruciate ligament, the medial collateral ligament and the meniscus in her right knee.

Despite the huge setback, she gave me a smile and told me she was determined to work through this most recent setback.

To fully understand the gravity of the situation, one need look no further than 2011-2012 basketball season. In September, 2011 she was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia which included daily arsenic chemotherapy.

Fighting bravely, the former Warrior star really showed her mettle, being cleared to play basketball in December while continuing chemotherapy. Collier became the school's all-time leader in scoring while averaging 16 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots in 18 games played.

Katie played with all her might that night after cutting a chemo session short. Following games during the regular season, she sometimes became dehydrated and exhausted. Opponents were honored to play against her and some teams gave her special recognition before games.

Times looked great as she was named girls state player of the year by the Seattle Times newspaper and became cancer free by March. Two weeks after her final chemotherapy treatment, she played in the McDonald's All-American game as the first UW women's basketball team recruit signed by the Huskies.

Everything seemed rosy until the preseason injury that caused her to miss the 2012-2013 season.

Collier trains regularly at LA Fitness near her Covington residence, doing lunges and squats to recover the muscle in her knee while doing whatever she can as far as UW team-related activities allow her.

"It's hard, but I just need to learn how to be patient and take a break," she told a local reporter in Dec., 2012.

By spring, she is expected to be able to run, but for now, patience is the key.

For her athletic achievements, but even more so for courageous character while accomplishing these deeds, the retiring of her jersey - only the third retired in the history of Seattle Christian - Collier was honored.

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