ON A SPRING afternoon in Austin, Texas, Asjia O’Neal nonchalantly walked into the Heart Hospital of Austin for her cardiology appointment, a twice-a-year routine she had been keeping most of her life. She changed into a hospital gown, lay down, and a nurse administered an echocardiogram and an EKG, tests to check the rhythm and structure of her heart and its electrical signals. As she waited on the exam table for her doctor, she made small talk with the Texas volleyball team’s physical trainer, DeAnn Koehler, who had driven her to the hospital. They talked about the weather and the upcoming 2019 season, when O’Neal, a 6-foot-3 middle blocker, would make her debut after redshirting her first season with the Longhorns.

Her doctor entered the room, holding her results in his hands. “There’s been some changes,” he began. Read More