Didi Richards opens up about a devastating injury, getting drafted to WNBA

The former Baylor University guard, who was temporarily paralyzed by a collision in practice last year, will be playing for the New York Liberty this season.
6:15 | 05/13/21

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Transcript for Didi Richards opens up about a devastating injury, getting drafted to WNBA
You understand after this story. Back now with a young woman who is the epitome of hoop dreams and resilience. Didi Richards, owned the court while playing for Baylor helping to lead her team to victory in 2019 the NCAA championship but a few months before getting drafted to the wnba her life changed just like that. We'll talk to did in a moment live but first take a look at her story. New York liberty have selected didi Richards out of Baylor. Reporter: This was the emotional moment didi Richards' dreams came true. Being drafted to the wnba. I'm speechless and I'm trying to hold back tears. It's okay. It's okay. Reporter: But less than six months earlier this dream almost wasn't a reality when a play went horribly wrong. Didi colliding full speed with a teammate. Her coach sharing in a Baylor Facebook video how concerned she was. What I saw with my eyes, I sometimes was like, I don't care if she ever plays basketball again, I just want her to be back walking normal. Reporter: Despite suffering a spinal cord injury and experiencing temporary paralysis from the hips down. She touched the wall. Reporter: Didi getting right back in the game. So amazing. Reporter: Persevering one small step at a time. And just 38 days later -- Didi Richards. Reporter: Didi returned to the court. Now she is ready to take on the wnba. As Tiffany haddish would say, she ready, she ready. Joining us live is did Richards. I am so happy for you. So incredibly proud of you. It's a proud moment to be drafted, period. But after what you went through. Yep, definitely. Didi, what was it like to hear the New York liberty call your name in the draft? It was special. You know, as a young girl I think I can speak for all young kids you have dreams and inspirations and mine was to be drafted. Now being a part of one of the 144 girls that are even playing in the wnba, one of the best leagues in the world is pretty special and it's hard to put into words. To be on one of the original teams of the wnba that started 25 years ago, okay. On the cusp of joining the wnba you have that injury. Something like that is going to either make you or break you. It made you in many ways and you give a lot of credit to your father for that for what he taught you. Can you share that? Oh, yes, ma'am. I think my brother and I growing up, we had it hard in the house. My dad was pretty tough on us but I think that was a good thing for us especially with me going through that injury, he definitely instilled mental toughness throughout my life and just when that injury happened it was kind of second nature. I just knew that I had an undeniable mindset that I was going to work hard and I was going to figure out how to get back on the court, but first off how to walk. Yeah, and what was the toughest part in the recovery, did, through all that time? The roller coaster. Definitely an emotional roller coaster. One day I could feel my toes and then the next day I couldn't feel them so it was just being able to kind of cope with there was going to be every day was subject to change and there was going to be changes throughout the whole time. So just being able to kind of take that in and being able to keep a positive mindset through Yeah, it's hard to believe that at one point you didn't even want to play sports. Basketball wasn't even something in sports, period. So what changed for you? You're competitive. Very competitive. And that's what makes it I don't know. I just wanted to be super girlie and super cute all the time and sweating does not involve cute. So it really wasn't something I wanted to do but I'm happy my parents pushed me. And your mom, she's got some shine on her. I remember Shaq talking about you and then he mentioned like had a little crush or something on your mom. So the whole family is in the spotlight and enjoying it? Yes. My mom, she's a black beautiful so the least I can say is she deserves all the attention she gets. She's beautiful. As are you. Those lashes, girl. Come on now. I mean, those lashes go on for days. That's my favorite. I know it is. 25 years, you know, even before you were born, the wnba was established and for you and other young women to aspire to be able to play pro ball after their college career what are you most looking forward to when you step out on that court tomorrow for the New York liberty? Definitely playing against -- people you looked up to growing up or you tried to model your game after growing up. I think it's exciting to be able to learn from Lisa Leslie, Candace parker and seeing Candace parker on the court or so excited to watch Breanna Stewart and maybe one day play against her and the Seattle storm. It's kind of exciting. You are exciting. So proud of you, didi. You keep it going. All the best to you. Thank you so much. You'll be seeing me courtside. I'll get out to a liberty game. You can count on that. You take care in the meantime. Even got the nails, everything, all right. The wnba's 25th season tips off tomorrow night with did and the New York liberty taking on the Indiana fever at 7:00 P.M. Eastern on NBA TV. Tip-off weekend continues on ABC and the ESPN app with two dynamite doubleheaders featuring the league's MVP, you heard did just talk about her, Breanna - Stewart and Asia Wilson. Wow, the 25th season of the wnba.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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