For sophomore Annie Leap, playing basketball extends further than sportsmanship and athletics. Doctors diagnosed Leap with the rare heart condition Long QT Syndrome (LTQS) Type 2 at age 12, but she managed to overcome a multitude of hurdles to achieve her goals of continuing to pursue sports in her life.

Leap’s parents adopted her from Vietnam at two months old and she said she quickly realized her passion for sportsmanship and athletics.

“I realized I was blessed with the gift of playing sports […] I played soccer, travel basketball and lacrosse,” Leap said.

LQTS specifically affects the rhythm of the heart and can cause irrational and impatient heartbeats.

Leap said the contraction of this condition majorly impacted the variety of sports in which she could participate in.

“[LQTS] stopped me from continuing travel lacrosse, but I could still play basketball because it was at a pace that I could keep up with,” Leap said.

Although Leap’s rare heart condition prohibited her from playing lacrosse, she said she learned to accept her reality and motivate herself to craft her basketball skills.

“At first, I was heartbroken,” Leap said. “So, I started to change the way I looked at life. I accepted my condition and gave it my all in the sports that I was still able to participate in. I counted my heart condition as a blessing, rather than something that holds me down.”

Leap said the opportunity to play on a varsity level team motivated her to succeed.

“I wanted to take the privilege to have successful team,” Leap said. “I think we did just that this year. We got to quarter finals for states.”

Leap said her condition has taught her to adapt to physical boundaries, as well as lead as an example to others dealing with similar issues.

“Life does not end at the hard moments,” Leap said. “It is only a new beginning to become a new and stronger person.”