Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hibbler Overcomes Obstacles, Shines on the Court

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hibbler Overcomes Obstacles, Shines on the Court

Article excerpt

Volleyball is more than just a passion for Westminster's Cameron Hibbler. The court offers an oasis for the junior, a place where he thrives and feels at ease.

Off the court, it hasn't been so easy for the outside hitter.

Hibbler has Asperger's syndrome, a pervasive developmental disorder similar to autism. While there are a variety of symptoms, the most common are problems with social skills, according to WebMD.

"In volleyball, I'm more focused," Hibbler said. "I'm in an environment where I can really focus versus off the court where my attention span is just short, mood swings, stuff like that.

"In a classroom it's sort of hard to connect to the teacher, what they're saying and stay focused. I have my days where I'm really interested in the subject, but at the same time it's hard to connect with what the teacher is saying. I have to have things broken down for me."

It's hard to miss Hibbler on the court. He stands 6-foot-3 with flowing dreadlocks, but he has just as much substance as style. Hibbler can dominate opponents with his kills, serves or defense.

Hibbler moved to outside hitter from middle blocker, where he helped Westminster advance to the Class 3 championship match last year. He has responded to the move by averaging 4.65 kills a game, among tops in the area.

"He's got a physicality about him and he's very dynamic," Westminster coach Jean Evans said. "He's just getting better every game."

More importantly, Hibbler is thriving socially on the court. He was voted co-captain by his teammates and is a vocal leader for the Wildcats. From the stands, there is no way to tell that Hibbler has Asperger's.

"I wasn't expecting him to be the kind of leader that he has been, but he just continually exceeds expectations," Evans said. "That's what great athletes do."

Sports are an important part of the Hibbler family. Cameron's mother, Jackie, was an All-American track star in college and currently coaches track at Parkway South. …

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