May 17, 2010, 9:17 PM EDT
Emmanuel Negedu says he’s following his dream by transferring to New Mexico to continue his basketball career.
Good luck, Emmanuel. It could end up being a bad dream.
Negedu suffered sudden cardiac arrest last September after he completed a Tennessee weightlifting session and was racing a teammate on the Vols’ indoor football field. He lost consciousness, had no pulse and had to be revived with a defibrillator. He later had surgery to implant a cardiac defibrillator in his chest to monitor his heart’s rhythm and deliver energy when an irregularity occurs.
That was enough for Vols coach Bruce Pearl to declare Negedu’s playing career over. Not Negedu.
“I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do,” the 21-year-old said. “I want to chase my dreams to play basketball. I want to do what makes me happy, and that’s what makes me so happy.”
Pearl’s worried Negedu’s health could again take a serious turn, which makes sense. Negedu’s heart stopped and he now relies on a machine to ensure it works properly. If that’s not scary for an elite athlete, I don’t know what is.
Players have continued their careers with conditions like this, but it can’t completely halt any nervous thoughts when Negedu eventually takes the court.
Good luck, Emmanuel. Be healthy.
Mike Miller’s also on Twitter, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.
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