Penn H.S. grad Kurth holding strong role at Valpo

Penn High grad Tommy Kurth played in 23 games as a freshman at Valpo in 2010.

So, with Valpo in this year's NCAA Tournament, it would make sense that Kurth would be a senior starter for the Crusaders.

Unfortunately he isn't.

A laundry list of injuries and medical ailments have ended Kurth's playing career. He's had everything from surgery on his feet to major intenstinal and digestive issues and procedures. Tommy can live his day-to-day life normally, but simply put--he becomes ill whenever he exercises.

Remarkably Kurth has stayed strong and remains a vital member of the Crusader program behind the scenes.

Valpo is in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004 and will open up the Big Dance Thursday at 12:15 p.m. against Michigan State in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

"He helped me personally a lot this year, just by being a voice in my ear to help me with how the guys were feeling," Valpo head coach Bryce Drew explains. "He has been a great asset to our program even not playing this year."

"There isn't a lot I can do physically or anything like that for them, but really staying in their head making sure they are in the game, things like that, in tune with the coaches," Kurth explains. "I am still involved which is nice, although I would rather be on the court, it's definitely a good deal."

Kurth could return next season as a graduate assistant with the Crusaders. He also has some opportunities in the business world.

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