When you watch Larry Nance Jr., senior stud for the University of Wyoming men's basketball team, move around on a basketball court, you think that his talent is God given and natural. Something he doesn't really have to work to hard at.  To quote a famous ESPN former anchor he's "as smooth as the other side of the pillow." However. It hasn't been easy for the this talented athlete. I recently found an article in USA today written by Eric Prisbell. And what I learned astounded me. I learned what every one else knows. That Nance's father is a 13 year NBA veteran, and his father's gifts were handed down to  the son.  But what I didn't  know is that the preseason Mountain West Conference player of the year can compete at the college level only because of a medical diagnosis during his sophomore year of high school that changed his life. Few know that every seven weeks he receives an infusion of the medication Remicade for two hours to enable him to have the energy to play basketball. Barring dramatic medical advancements, he will receive these infusions for the rest of his life to treat Crohn's Disease, a serious and chronic inflammation of the digestive tract that can cause abdominal pain, cramping, among more serious digestive issues. I learned in reading the article that Larry Nance Jr. had tumors in his body and as a child almost didn't make it. After playing soccer until eighth grade, Nance Jr. decided to choose one sport and felt it would be odd for a Nance to focus on anything other than basketball. But he was short on skill, motivation and energy. He was a backup on his freshman high school team. As a sophomore, he was relegated to a backup shooting guard role on the jayvee team. Nance Jr. couldn't help but wonder why he seemed to be the only person in his family who wouldn't grow. His sister was 6-5, his mom 6-2 and his dad 6-10. Nance Jr. recalls his driver's license listing him as 6-feet and 130 pounds. And he had problems with his energy level. When he did play basketball he had no energy. His dad actually thought he was lazy. "I just thought he might be lazy," Nance Sr. said. "Maybe basketball wasn't fun for him." His mother decided to have some tests run on the young athlete. The tests, conducted at the Cleveland clinic, revealed that Nance Jr. wasn't lazy. He had Crohn's Disease. He was filled with ulcers. "Doctors told the family that Crohn's stunts one's growth. If the growth plates are still open, he could catch up growth-wise. If the plates were closing, then he'd be unlikely to grow anymore." So what to do? The family faced a choice with medicine. Steroids would enable Nance Jr. to manage the illness but not necessary excel in spite of it. Another option would be the infusion of the expensive medication called Remicade every few weeks. The family chose Remicade. To make a long story short, in 14 months Nance grew seven inches and gained 44 pounds. As he matured his skills increased, but not enough to get noticed by anybody. Except Larry Shyatt, who knew his father Nance Sr. It was Shyatt that knew what Nance Jr.'s potential was. And convinced him, through his mom more or less, to come to Laramie. The rest is going to be Wyoming Cowboy basketball history. Believe it. Nance Jr. used to watch film of his father mystify the crowds in the NBA slam dunk contest. Now, all the dunks Nance Sr. performed, "Larry can do them so easily," said Nance Sr., who has made three 20-hour drives from the Cleveland area to Wyoming during his son's career. "I don't even know how I won with that crap. He makes it look so easy." Not Larry Nance Jr. is Wyoming's star and an inspiration to many in the Cowboy State. Treasure this one. Because he's not going to be here much longer.   http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/mwest/2015/01/19/larry-nance-jr-wyoming-cowboys-mens-basketball-crohns-disease/22006799/