, Newburyport, MA


March 19, 2014

Surgent honored for perseverance, team-first approach

AMESBURY — Casey Surgent missed his junior basketball season to undergo heart surgery, only to return to game action this year. His commitment to the Indians and perseverance through difficult times has earned him the 2014 James Young Courage Award.

“James Young is a fellow from Merrimac who had both arms amputated in a horrible accident while working for the utility company,” said Tom Connelly, a high school referee and Surgent’s neighbor, who nominated him for the award. “Jim was a ref and he was working with high voltage electricity and suffered a horrific accident where he lost both arms. The award is named after him.”

In a nomination letter to the head of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO), Connelly wrote that Surgent is a “great kid, hard worker and has overcome some huge obstacles to play the game he really loves.”

Surgent underwent a heart surgery that was not only planned for years, but was expected since his birth. Born with aortic stenosis of the heart, or a valve disease that narrows the passage of the heart, Surgent was operated on immediately after his birth. He knew that a second surgery was imminent, though was unsure of when.

“I had it since I was born and in July of 2012 I had my second open heart surgery,” Surgent said. “It had to be done. When I was younger I was supposed to get it done, but the doctor said I could keep putting it off while the valve was working properly. Finally, they said I had to get it done with, so I did.”

Surgent spent six days at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, including 14 hours in intensive care following the procedure.

“We were nervous as hell the day of his surgery,” said his father, Mark Surgent.

“It was supposed to be at noon, so we got there at 9 a.m., but they had complications and didn’t even take him in until 5 p.m. He hadn’t eaten anything all day, but he never complained; he sat on his tablet and played computer games all night while he waited. Nothing fazes him.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Jack White's Cub Face How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China Sterling says he's not trying to block Clippers sale Selig: MLB 'more popular today than ever' Eli, Giants learning new offense Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Longhorns Coach Disses Texas With Compliment - @TheBuzzeronFOX How Will Wiggins Deal Impact Potential Love Trade? Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Dareus fails conditioning test, Watkins lifts spirits Clay Travis On Mettenberger Punch & "Dumbest Fanbase" - @TheBuzzeronFOX Bowlsby talks cheating in NCAA Kluwe: How can Tony Dungy advocate felons, not Michael Sam SNC Minute: Phils lose; Lee set to return Eagles less than a week away from training camp Could Cliff Lee's health affect trade value? McCarthy and Stairs break down the Phillies' loss 105-year-old woman throws first pitch McIlroy wins British Open, Tiger finishes 69th Astros, Aiken fail to reach deal
Special Features