Before the WNBA, Samuelson played basketball at UConn. She was always the type of person to keep her emotions to herself, as to not burden anyone. After playing a game, she would find herself crying in the locker room and when her coaches approached her, she just said she wanted to play in the next game, and she would feel better. But deep down inside, Katie knew something wasn’t right. She was in denial, and because of this, friends and her family didn’t even know that Katie Lou Samuelson’s mental health was poor.
Time went on and she injured her ankle but continued to play basketball. Once the season was over, she had ankle surgery, and rested until the next season. Being a basketball player with an ankle injury, Samuelson says, “I felt very isolated in the sense that I didn't have anything else I really felt inspired to do -- or connected to -- off the court.” She continues on to say, “Everything is connected in one way or another. Looking back now, I wasn't taking care of myself as well as I should have. I wasn't eating right. I had times where I was sleeping for 13-15 hours a day. I'd get up to go to practice and class, then come back to my room, and that's about it.”
In 2019, she was drafted as the number 4 pick for the Chicago Sky. To be picked for a WNBA team is a huge accomplishment and she thought this would make her feel better, but she realized that she needed to face her struggles head on and finally sought mental health treament.