Doing what he can: Hayfield’s Adam Young getting back on the court after battle with lupus

Adam Younge takes a shot during a game last week against Kenyon-Wanamingo in Hayfield.  Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Adam Younge takes a shot during a game last week against Kenyon-Wanamingo in Hayfield. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

HAYFIELD — Hayfield senior Adam Younge was having the time of his life last spring. He was playing with his twin brother, Aaron, on a Viking baseball team that advanced all of the way to the Section 1A title game and was within one win of Hayfield’s first ever state baseball tournament appearance.

But Adam couldn’t help but notice a pain that was in his fingers. After baseball season, Adam was diagnosed with lupus. He wasn’t afraid at first, but when he saw his mom crying, he knew he might be in for a major battle.

“I didn’t know what it was right away and I didn’t think it was anything super big until I found out I had to get chemotherapy,” Adam said.

Mayo Clinic describes lupus as a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs.

Adam had a tough summer that saw him limited in activity as treatment for lupus wore him down. But he was thankful for his friend, Cole Kruger, a Hayfield grad, who made sure he got out and played golf to stay active.

Twin brother Aaron Younge works in that same game on defense. The brothers are still able to play basketball together after Adam’s battle with lupus. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Twin brother Aaron Younge works in that same game on defense. The brothers are still able to play basketball together after Adam’s battle with lupus. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

There were times when Adam wasn’t sure if he’d be able to play basketball this season, but he’s been in Hayfield’s lineup with Aaron this season, and he’s doing what he can to help the team. Adam doesn’t have the endurance he once did, but he’s still able to provide a shooting presence.

“It’s tough on him,” Hayfield head coach Chris Pack said. “He’d like to be able to play 30 minutes, and he can only play 20 minutes.”

Adam has always loved to take the ball to the basket, but now he usually has to spend some time on the bench after he gets aggressive with his dribble.

Adam will have to take medication for a few more years, and he said the whole medical ordeal has changed his outlook on life. Aaron also had a wakeup call when he first visited his brother in the hospital.

“It was pretty hard for me. When I saw him in the hospital, I was just shaking and I was devastated,” Aaron said. “You’ve got to work through it. It’s hard, but I’ve helped him out. I appreciate my health a lot now.”

While his impact on the court is smaller this season, Adam is just happy to be able to compete in his senior season.

“I can’t play as much as I want and I can’t do a lot of things that I would like to,” he said. “It’s good to still be out there playing.”

Pack said he’s pleased to have both Younges in the lineup this season as they provide a boost to the backcourt.

“They are definitely on the same page and they compliment each other well,” Pack said. “Aaron is a great open shooter, and Adam is a creator who can drive and kick and finish. It’s nice to have them both out there.”

 

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