CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — At the beginning of the 2021 high school basketball season, players and coaches across the state were not sure if they would make it to Charleston. At the same time, Hannah Blankenship was fighting to get back on the court altogether.
“To be honest, I didn’t really think I’d be playing at all this season,” Blankenship said.
We first met Hannah Blankenship and heard her story in June 2020. She was diagnosed with Cushing syndrome, which s caused by a tumor on her pituitary gland and creates many complications. Right before the season started, she was cleared to play, even though the tumor was not removed.
“I am feeling myself,” Blankenship said. “It’s been a mentally tough season with COVID and everything, but my teammates have been behind me the whole way.”
She explained the fight definitely comes with its fair share of challenges with good days and bad, but she never fights alone.
“My teammates were like ‘You got to keep pushing because there are better days ahead,'” Blankenship said. “I didn’t believe better days were ahead because I was down and defeated, but I had family and friends by my side. They just help me keep pushing. Basketball was always an outlet for me to get away from my problems a little bit.”
She said she feels blessed to make it back to the state tournament, hoping she can play next year to finish her senior year the same way. Head Coach Angie Boninsegna said Blankenship going through what she did at such a young age inspired the entire Wyoming East family.
“She is… not only a great athlete, but a great person off of the court,” Boninsegna said. “She is a great role model for the kids under her to look up to.”