Heart of a Champion

Huffman's Hulse has DI heart and perseverance

Gage Hulse of Huffman has inspiring run district title. Via Vype

Originally Appeared on Vype

Perseverance.

It can't be measured like size, speed and strength, but it could be the most important characteristic a coach wants in an athlete.

If that were the case, Huffman's Gage Hulse would be a high major DI basketball prospect with offers from every national power program.

Hulse was born with pectus excavatum -- a structural deformity of the anterior thoracic wall in which the sternumand rib cage are shaped abnormally. This produces a caved-in or sunken appearance of the chest.

What it means is that Hulse struggled to breath for his entire life, while playing and living through pain.

"I used to play football up until ninth grade," he said. "It was tough. I'd have to sit out at times and take my pads off to catch my breath. The condition is pretty dangerous because it affects your heart and lungs. I couldn't have gone through this without my family and friends supporting me."

Fast-forward to his senior season and Hulse has led Huffman to an undefeated district title, while averaging over 17 points per game.

"Probably my most memorable moment was cutting down the nets when we clinched the district title," he said.

But it's been a long road to getting atop that ladder a few weeks ago.


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