Anywhere there’s a basketball court, you can find Mandan’s Jayden Wiest.

“I love basketball and I love being in the gym,” Mandan’s junior guard said.

But the game you love can be taken away in an instant, something that became a reality for Wiest last summer after tearing her ACL.

“I kind of came down on it wrong with a little bit of impact,” Wiest explained. “So we kind of just thought I tweaked it a little bit and that it’d be okay until we got the MRI back. I mean, it’s all God’s plan. I knew that to get back I’d be better and be stronger.”

Wiest took charge immediately. In the words of her coach Shaun Henderson, adapting a mindset of a minor setback for a major comeback.

“Less than 24 hours after she found out she tore her ACL her and I were back in the gym and we were working on her game,” Braves’ head coach Shaun Henderson said. “That didn’t stop throughout the whole year.”

“Every day at practice Coach Henderson would always find ways for me to be in a drill, or participate in it, so it helped a lot,” Wiest said. “It did.”

Her impact resonated throughout the team, even from the bench, being named a captain in a year that she never played a minute.

“That says a lot about the person she is,” Henderson said. “She’s just that film junkie, basketball junkie. She’s always finding ways to try to get better. Just having her on the court is a calming for everyone – the coaching staff, the players on the court.”

Wiests’ return to the court took 11 months, but the impact has been immediate, scoring 25 points, and adding five assists in her first game back with the Braves. Her bounce back has been no surprise thus far.

“Did it feel like a surprise to you to have that kind of performance in game one?” Wiest was asked.

“No, no. A little bit, but no, not a ton. I was ready,” Wiest said.

Her confidence speaks volumes, and it’s all she needs to lead the Braves this season.

“I have all the confidence in the world in my knee, and I know that I’m back and I’m better, stronger,” Weist said. “Mentally it’s tough right away getting past it all, but I’m good and I’m glad to be back with my team.”

Wiest and the Braves return to the court Thursday night at Century.