Micah Mason's Doubts are Gone

Micah_MasonHighlands senior Micah Mason endured months without basketball until the day his doctor cleared him to shoot 30 free throws.

He shot closer to 50.

"I cheated a little bit because I wanted to shoot more," he said with a laugh.

Mason remembers missing only two shots that day in late August at the YMCA, his first attempts since being diagnosed this summer with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. The condition has caused him much distress, but it hasn't damaged his shooter's touch.

Those free throws were his first proof.

"That made me feel pretty good about everything," he said, "but I still didn't think I was going to play basketball again."

Those doubts are gone. The 6-foot-2 guard has been practicing at full speed for more than a month and expects to be the same player who grabbed the WPIAL's attention last season when scored 64 points in a game.

"I'm pretty close to being 100 percent again," said Mason, who signed with Drake. "It took a while for me to get back into shape. It was a pretty rough summer."

Now, he's anticipating opening night. He'll be Highlands' only returning starter, but that might be enough. A season ago, he led the WPIAL in scoring average at 33 points.

"He's one of the best scorers I've seen come through the WPIAL in a number of years," said Hampton coach Joe Lafko, whose team shares Section 1-AAA with Highlands. "He's going to be able to make any team around him a good team."

Mason first had symptoms in May, beginning with heart palpitations. A few weeks later, he was diagnosed with POTS, a condition that can include an abnormal heart rate. Dr. Robert Corcetti, a Monroeville chiropractor, has guided Mason's recovery. He uses a new technique called the Neurologic Relief Centers Technique™. The symptoms are gone, but Mason still experiences the palpitations "once in a blue moon."

At his worst, Mason admits he was depressed and had lost his motivation for just about everything.

"I pretty much played Xbox in my room," he said. "I didn't even want to leave. That's how I felt. I just wanted to stay home."

But his improvement has been remarkable. There was a time during the summer when Mason was told not to walk too much -- nothing even as strenuous as a stroll around the mall.

"I went from not being allowed to walk, to being allowed to walk around the block once," he said. "I slowly started walking a mile a day. Then, I slowly started riding my bike. I just kept going -- moving forward."

The day he shot those 50 free throws was a milestone.

"I wasn't sure what was going to happen," he said, "but it was just like riding a bike."