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Illinois guard Jada Peebles suffers season-ending Achilles tear

The fifth-year guard was injured against Northwestern on Sunday.

TCR // David Pollak

After going down with an injury in the team’s 93-52 win over Northwestern on Sunday, Jada Peebles’ five-year Illinois career has come to an end.

On Tuesday, the Raleigh, North Carolina native gave the news of her injury via Instagram.

“This year has been a journey for my team and i’m so grateful that I have got to play with them as long as I did,” she said. “With that being said, this past Sunday I tore my achilles during the Northwestern game. As heartbreaking as it was to find out my college career and season was over, I have overwhelming peace that this is all in God’s plan.”

In her post, she shared a vulnerable story in which she attempted death by suicide in October 2021. As a result, she had to stay in the hospital for three weeks and then return to basketball in November of the same year. The full caption can be read at the embedded link above.

“It was something I didn’t want to or know how to talk about,” Peebles said.

Later that same season, Peebles dislocated her ankle in the Big Ten Tournament and would undergo the rehab process to recover, which made the 2022-23 season “also a very hard time.”

Peebles played the last action of her college career in the fourth quarter before being subbed out as the Illini led 80-41.

“Not knowing when I would go back to feeling normal, I got through that year and as the 2023-24 season came around I started to feel like myself again with basketball,” the fifth-year Illinois guard said.

Peebles has been with Illinois since the 2019-20 season and announced that she would return for a fifth season in June. She, along with center Camille Hobby, was among the last of the ‘Covid year’ class.

In the game against Northwestern, she suited up in the Orange and Blue for the 124th time, placing her sixth in the career games all-time list at Illinois. Had she completed the season, she would have likely finished with the most appearances, 135 set by Lacey Simpson in 2005-10.

“There is no other school I would’ve rather played basketball for, staying loyal to this program has brought me great knowledge, wisdom, and relationships that I can call forever relationships,” Peebles said.

Peebles has been a reliable 3-and-D option for Shauna Green’s squad, whether the contribution is off the bench or in the starting five. Sitting at 7-8 (1-4 Big Ten), Green must now turn to younger guards to fill the role of Peebles.

If you or someone you know is considering death by suicide, help is available. The Suicide and Crisis Hotline is available 24/7 via phone call or text at 988. More resources are available here.