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Men's Basketball Senior Lance Kearse Profiled in NCAA Champion Magazine

posted on 11/07/2011

Lance Kearse by Matt Marriott

By Ben Schlesselman, Sports Information Director

Eckerd College men's basketball senior forward Lance Kearse was recently profiled in a national feature story as his account of overcoming a condition known as sickle cell trait was circulated throughout the NCAA Champion magazine.

Written by Brian Hendrickson, Kearse's inspirational narrative "Monster Within" is detailed in great length spanning his standout prep days at Fort Myers High School, to his collegiate beginning at Virginia Commonwealth University and his current standing at Eckerd.

Kearse has become the NCAA's prime poster child for educating (proper treatment, awareness) the national phenomena in which Hendrickson describes sickle cell trait as "emerging in high-level athletics like a boogeyman over the last decade."

Kearse averaged 12 points per game last year before the NCAA granted him a fifth year of eligibility for the upcoming 2011-12 campaign.

But the considerable impact of the story has just begun.

Men's basketball head coach Tom Ryan has already fielded numerous calls from athletes in the same plight who have tested positive for sickle cell trait and thanks to the NCAA's insight and the EC staff's thorough research, they can provide new information when consulting their physician.

"We are very excited that Lance won his appeal with the NCAA due to his health issue, but his story will go a long way for others and prove they can have a regular career in athletics while attending school," Ryan said.

Photographs were taken for the story on the Eckerd campus by Matt Marriott. The following is an excerpt and the full article in PDF format can be viewed by clicking the link below.

He dropped to the court, quadriceps searing with a horrific cramp. He reached to massage it but experienced something he'd never encountered: The cramp kept spreading. It moved from his thigh into his hamstring, then his glutes. As he reached around, more muscles joined in - his abdomen, his back, his chest. Kearse lay on the court in agony. He was fed Gatorade, but it didn't help. Scared to move, extremities growing cold, an ambulance en route, one thought pierced the pain.

"Monster Within" - by Brian Hendrickson

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