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Trinity University Student Puts Her Heart
into Basketball

By James Hill 76

November 2010 —The Trinity Tigers women’s basketball team has a real fighter on the squad in senior forward Lauren Hickey.

Lauren Hickey
Above, Trinity forward Lauren Hickey brings the ball down the court during a game last season.

Five years ago, Hickey underwent major heart surgery, to replace her defective aortic valve. As a basketball player at Boerne High School, she was not certain she would be able to continue to play the sport that has captured her passion.

But the corrective procedure was performed during her sophomore year at San Antonio’s Christus Santa Rosa Hospital, and Hickey has been going like “a house-a-fire” ever since.

“I’ve been very blessed that I’ve been able to remain active,” said Hickey, who will graduate from Trinity in May with a degree in English. “It’s always been a concern that I don’t want to be defined by my surgery or heart condition. I’m going to go as hard as I can, for as long as I can.”

Hickey does monitor herself, however, as she regularly takes blood pressure medication. Some days, during rigorous practices, she notices her blood pressure is high. In those instances, Hickey steps back, takes a deep breath, and then finishes her workout. She doesn’t quit, she just waits until her body is ready to continue.

Amie Bradley, in her sixth year as head coach of the Tigers, said Hickey exhibits maximum effort in all of the practices.

“Lauren excels in our conditioning program,” Coach Bradley said. “It’s an inspiration to have her on the team. It’s fun to see her succeed, because you know the hurdles she jumped over to get here.”

Hickey is involved with other aspects of the Trinity community. She is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and is president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She also was the campus founder of the Omicron Delta Kappa society, an organization for honor students.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree, Hickey plans to enter the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Trinity.

She has aspirations to become a teacher and coach, and continue the “family business.”

Her mother, Lynn Hickey, is director of athletics at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a former women’s basketball coach at Texas A&M. Ms. Hickey’s dad, Bill, was the Aggies’ baseball coach and counsels incoming athletes at UTSA in life skills.

“I am very proud of her decision to want to teach and coach,” Lynn Hickey said. “Lauren has a lot to give back to young people. She is a survivor, but also is someone who has learned to have an ‘attitude of gratitude.’’’

Lauren Hickey has worked with children extensively in camps and other settings. Some of the kids had heart conditions.

Her advice to these young folks: “Don’t let it affect your daily life, and don’t let it eat you up inside. It’s important, with heart conditions, or whatever conditions you may have, to do the best you can.”

© 2010 Trinity University

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