MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Imagine you’re a 16-year-old sophomore playing on the JV hockey and baseball teams, and then all the sudden, you get the chance to play with the best in the world.
That’s exactly what happened to one impressive kid from White Bear Lake.
Henry Fusco is your typical 16-year-old. He likes sports, his friends and, of course, sports with his friends.
The fact that Henry is deaf has never kept him from the things that he likes.
“I just go out and play. I just do the best I can,” he said. “My coaches know I can’t hear that well, and they help me out, and it’s good for me.”
Henry has cochlear implants that help him hear, but what makes him stand out is his sense of humor when he tells you why this is the perfect sport for him.
“I mean, we actually do signs on the base paths, so I’m basically good to go for baseball,” he said.
But it’s another sport that had Henry in the spotlight last month when for the first time, he played for the U.S. National Team in the World Deaf Hockey Championships. He was the youngest ever to make the team. At the two-week tournament in Buffalo, New York, Henry played against, and with, the best in the world.
“Well I mean, I’m just in awe,” he said. “Like, it was just really cool, just to see people like me.”
He brought that sense of humor along for the trip.
“We can’t wear hearing equipment out on the ice. They blow the whistle. I don’t know why, but they blow the whistle,” he said.
It was no joke what it meant to him, to be a part of it.
“It was a really great experience. We won gold, we beat Canada 6-3 in the championship,” he said. “It was one of the best moments in my life, when we won.”