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February 12, 2003


From: San Luis Obispo Tribune, CA - 12 Feb 2003

Palisades senior Blake Trauger, who became deaf at the age of 3, is hearing again thanks to a cochlear implant. The device bypasses the inner ear and transmits sounds directly to the hearing center of the brain.

But not on a basketball court.

Trauger, who plays soccer, basketball and baseball, must perform in silence because the potential for contact might damage the expensive implant or even cause injury to Trauger.

In a way, that suits Trauger just fine.

"Growing up, I wasn't used to hearing," Trauger said. "I like the silence in a game. It makes it easier to focus."

Trauger is a straight-A student at Palisades.

© 2003 San Luis Obispo Tribune