It was a college career that started on the worst possible note.
Ariel McKoy said, “When I was in high school, I just had high blood pressure. It was nothing too serious or anything to worry about. When I got here, the workouts are more intense, more vigorous so my blood pressure seemed to be affecting that a lot.”
Ariel McKoy, a freshman on the HPU Basketball team, would find her life change on an October evening in 2019.
McKoy said, “I was walking with my friends one night across campus and the university center and I remember hitting the ground and I could hear my friends screaming. The next thing I know I’m awake and I’m in the emergency room.”
McKoy woke up finding out she had a seizure, the first of many that would follow.
McKoy said, “From that day one turned to me seizing three times a week, it was a lot on me honestly.”
A graduate of Connally High School, it appeared McKoy’s college basketball career was over before it started.
McKoy said, “They told me no more basketball.”
Following multiple weekly visits to a neurologist and changing her habits, McKoy’s seizures went away. That was until June 11th of 2020.
McKoy said, “I had ended up having five seizures in a day so my six month streak was over. From that time I think that one was the hardest because I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t eat.”
But McKoy wouldn’t let her seizure disorder stop her from her goal of returning to the hardwood.
HPU Football Head Coach Jason Bachtel said, “She’s willing to fight and do some stuff that others aren’t doing to play the sport that she loves.”
After months of turmoil, McKoy’s seizures ceased. On January 4th of 2020, the sophomore did the unthinkable, returning to the court and making her first collegiate basket against Dallas Christian.
McKoy said, “It was a lot of emotions, it was weird I didn’t cry until after the game when we were in the locker room.”
And McKoy has a message for those struggling through the unthinkable.
McKoy said, “Never take anything for granted because I took a lot for granted until it all got snatched from me in the blink of an eye.”