Wyoming’s Larry Nance Jr. could very well be the best player in the Mountain West conference this season.
He’s a 6-foot-11 forward with the athleticism of his NBA Slam Dunk Champion father, a guy that can hit shots from the perimeter, is a playmaker on the defensive end of the floor and has developed a solid post-up game over the course of his career in Laramie.
But he’s the crazy part of his story: as a high school sophomore, Nance was all of 6-foot-0 and 135 pounds, the opposite of an athlete and a kid that could barely make the JV team at his high school.
That was before the Nance family discovered that he had Crohn’s Disease, which meant that his stomach was filled with ulcers that made it incredibly painful for him to eat. That stunted his growth, limited his energy and made him a shell of the kid that he was supposed to be.
And, as Eric Prisbell laid out in USA Today this week, once the family discovered the diagnosis, Nance blossomed. Literally:
After the first infusion of Remicade, Nance Jr. started growing, and kept growing. He remembers growing nearly an inch in the first two weeks. What’s more, 50 percent of the ulcers were gone in the first week.
“He was a new person with the infusion,” Jaynee Nance said. “An amazing turnaround.”
Nance Jr. said he gained 12 pounds during the first two weeks. During the next 14 months, he grew seven inches.
“It was a miracle for me,” Nance Jr. said. “It completely flipped the script on everything.”
It’s incredible when you think about it.
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