LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Wearing a helmet and pads, Katie George may look like a like a football player – but she’s not.

She’s tougher than that.

George, a 5-foot-10 senior setter for Assumption (Louisville, Ky.), had her tonsils removed in July. But soon after the routine procedure, doctors discovered a blood clot in her left lung.

She was in the hospital — still suffering from severe pain — when a doctor told George, a University of Louisville recruit, that her high school volleyball career was over.

George’s mother, Ann, started crying. Katie George, battling her own tears and shortness of breath, tried to protest. The monitors strapped to her body sensed her stress level and started blaring like a police siren.

“I don’t think people understand how serious volleyball is in the lives (of the kids who play the sport),” said George, who led Assumption, the No. 13 team in the POWERADE FAB 50 national volleyball rankings, to three straight wins on Friday, qualifying the Rockets for Saturday’s Sweet 16 round of the prestigious Durango Fall Classic.

“We work so hard and basically give up having a regular teen-age life. For (the doctor) to say, ‘You are not going to play your final high school season, but you will live’ was not good news. I was devastated.”

Devastated … but not deterred.


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