Lafayette forward Deron Linton couldn't wait to begin his senior season. The 6-foot-4 Linton averaged 15 points and nine rebounds per game last year and was expected to be "the man" for the Generals, if not one of the better players in the city and 11th Region. What he didn't anticipate was being sidelined all season with a dangerous heart disease.
Linton missed the entire regular season this year for Lafayette, after being diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. HCM is a silent, deadly disease that can kill without warning. Remember Hank Gathers, the record setting forward for Loyolya Marymount? In 1990, Gathers collapsed during a game and died. An autopsy revealed Gathers had HCM.
Celtics forward Reggie Lews died of HCM as well.
Little wonder then that Linton decided not to leave anything to chance.
Luckily, Linton underwent genetic testing and recently released results are not consistant with hypertrophic cardiomyoopathy. He immediately was cleared to play for the Generals.
Lafayette will need Linton when the take on Lexington Christian Tuesday night, in the first round of the 43rd District Tournament. But having watched the entire season from the bench, you can't blame Linton if he's not at his best.
Regardless, it's good to have Deron Linton back. Even if his senior season consists of just one game.
Those are the highlights... Stay tuned.