Former OU Women's Basketball Player Deploys to Afghanistan
By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9
NORMAN, Oklahoma -- She starred on the hard-court for some great OU women's basketball teams earlier this decade. But, now Caton Hill is heading to a bigger arena, a war zone. She's deploying to Afghanistan.
For five years Caton Hill wore the crimson and cream uniform of an OU basketball player. Now she's wearing the uniform of a U.S. Army Captain, a flight surgeon, who's on her way to Afghanistan.
"I wanted to join because I think that not only taking care of soldiers, but going and taking care of people that are fighting for you is one of the most honorable things you can do," Hill said.
Hill has faced challenges before. Before her final season at OU, she went through knee surgery. But she persevered and ended her career with more than 1,600 points, more than 1,000 rebounds, and more than 200 steals.
"A lot of the challenged that you do in basketball are physical and mental, like running, and you have to mentally overcome fear and everything like that," Hill said.
Hill and OU Coach Sherri Coale keep in touch. Last week they talked for more than two hours about her deployment to a war zone.
"She understands exactly the magnitude of what she's about to go do and the responsibility that she has there, and she speaks far more about that than she does any anxiety, based upon her own safety or her own hardship she might face," said Coale. "What you hear her talk about mostly is the responsibility that she has to keep the pilots healthy and ready to go."
Her coach says Hill was wired with an indomitable will, and she had a plan for her life. She always planned to be a doctor, and four years after she finished playing basketball, she graduated from the OU Medical School.
From hospital scrubs to combat gear, Hill says she's going to Afghanistan with no trace of fear.
"I'm not really that type of person," said Hill. "I don't have a recurring fear, I just want to make sure I do the right thing and take care of the soldiers to the best of my ability."