One year ago, I saw a caption on one of my social media feeds:
“GCU volleyball player collapses at practice and is brought back to life.”
It happened during the team’s first practice of 2019. But then I didn’t see anything else in the months following until last week on the Grand Canyon University Twitter feed. It was a tweet that read, “The Most Heartwarming GCU Stories of 2019.”
Like any normal dude who’s in touch with their emotions (yes, I’m one of them), I clicked in — and, well, the story was about Camden Gianni. And at the time I was actually watching Grand Canyon playing Emmanuel in Hawai’i and Gianni was on the screen.
The Lopes defeated the Saints with Gianni leading the charge with eight kills while hitting .500. And I realized it was his first match back since his cardiac arrest — which resulted in open-heart surgery.
The 6-foot-5 Gianni is a redshirt-freshman from Carlsbad, California, who played at La Costa Canyon High School. He was a first-team prep All-American and the CIF player of the year.
His is an incredible story of perseverance and his faith. I interviewed him on Tuesday, one year after his surgery on January 14, 2019: