Skip to content

Jay Simpson speaks about his career-ending diagnosis

Jul 1, 2014, 1:00 PM EST

Getty Images Getty Images

Jay Simpson’s basketball career came to an end on February 23rd, 2014.

With a little more than 12 minutes left in Purdue’s visit to Nebraska, Simpson collapsed during an otherwise normal defensive possession, his knees buckling before he sprawled out at the foul line, signaling to the bench from a prone position.

After the game, Simpson received a litany of tests that told him an unfortunate truth: he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyotrophy.

Less than two weeks after the game, the school announced that Simpson’s career as a basketball player was over.

Simpson recently spoke with the Purdue Exponent about the diagnosis and how it has affected his life:

Simpson said his teammates have helped him cope, bringing them closer in the process.

“The relationship I have with my teammates is a lot deeper now because we all shared that tough moment together,” Simpson said. “It’s more than just teammates on this team — we’re like brothers, family. I love those guys. I appreciate them for being there for me and sticking this whole thing out with me.”

Despite having to give up the game he’s invested his entire life into, Simpson has begun to see the “big picture” Painter alluded to.

“It didn’t really hit me until probably a week or two after (I collapsed),” Simpson said. “I just woke up one morning like ‘Dang, it’s really over.’ When you go your whole life addicted (to basketball) and you put all your time and energy into one thing and in the snap of your fingers it’s gone, it’s never going to be easy to deal with. I’m still dealing with it to this day, but it’s getting better. I’m starting to realize that I’m more than just a basketball player and I want to show the world that.”

 

To have something you’ve worked towards your entire life ripped away from you in an instant is not an easy thing for anyone to deal with, let alone a college sophomore. But Simpson seems like he’s realizing that there is more to life than just basketball.

It won’t happen immediately, but what happened to Simpson was a good thing. He found out about the potentially deadly disease before it cost him his life. There are many that haven’t been as lucky.

Latest Posts
  1. Dayton dismisses big men Devon Scott, Jalen Robinson from program

    Dec 17, 2014, 4:26 PM EST

    Archie Miller Archie Miller

    With these dismissals Dayton has no eligible players taller than 6-foot-6.

  2. Pregame Shootaround: No. 19 SDSU gets a test at Cincinnati, Vols take on N.C. State

    Dec 17, 2014, 4:00 PM EST

    Winston Shepard (AP Photo) AP

    This may be the most interesting night of hoops this week.

  3. New Year’s Resolutions: Kansas Jayhawks

    Dec 17, 2014, 3:44 PM EST

    Cliff Alexander (AP Photo) Cliff Alexander (AP Photo)

    What changes will Kansas make to get better by March?

  4. Injury depleted New Mexico loses another player

    Dec 17, 2014, 2:30 PM EST

    AP Photo AP Photo

    They are so short-handed that even the head coach is participating in practices.

  5. Report: Demetrius Treadwell no longer enrolled at Akron

    Dec 17, 2014, 1:53 PM EST

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Treadwell was accused of assaulting a member of the women’s team.

  6. Illinois State loses leading scorer for 4-to-6 weeks

    Dec 17, 2014, 1:00 PM EST

    Illinois State athletics Illinois State athletics

    DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell broke his right hand in a win over DePaul.

  7. Wichita State’s offensive struggles highlighted by come-from-behind win vs. Alabama

    Dec 17, 2014, 11:16 AM EST

    Fred Van Vleet (AP Photo) Fred Van Vleet (AP Photo)

    The Shockers miss Cleanthony Early, but how much will this hurt them in the long-term?

  8. #POSTERIZED: Vandy’s Shelton Mitchell dunks all over defender (VIDEO)

    Dec 17, 2014, 10:33 AM EST

    AP Photo AP Photo

    This is one of the most surprising posterizeds we’ve seen this year.

  9. Michigan State’s efficient three-point shooting is key for 2014-15 success

    Dec 17, 2014, 8:00 AM EST

    Travis Trice (AP Photo) Travis Trice (AP Photo)

    Michigan State lost a lot of talent and experience from a title contender last season, but they’ve remained a top 25 team thanks to tremendous three-point shooting.

  10. La Salle use half-court buzzer-beater to force overtime (VIDEO)

    Dec 17, 2014, 7:00 AM EST

    Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 12.30.15 AM

    Who doesn’t love buzzer-beaters, especially when they’re from half court?

  11. No. 11 Wichita State rallies from 11 down to beat Alabama thanks to Van Vleet (VIDEO)

    Dec 16, 2014, 11:49 PM EST

    Wichita St St Louis Basketball AP

    Wichita State found a way to win in a thrilling home game against Alabama.

  12. Creighton suspends junior guard indefinitely

    Dec 16, 2014, 10:10 PM EST

    creighton Getty Images

    Creighton will be without a reserve guard for an undetermined period of time.

  13. Report: David Robinson’s son will be preferred walk-on at Duke in 2015-16 (VIDEO)

    Dec 16, 2014, 9:20 PM EST

    AP AP

    Duke will add the son of a former NBA legend to its roster in 2015-16.

  14. Houston starting point guard likely to make season debut this weekend

    Dec 16, 2014, 8:00 PM EST

    Ge'Lawn Guyn, L.J. Rose AP

    Houston should get a major boost to its lineup this weekend with the return of its starting point guard.

  15. Report: Iowa State redshirt sophomore to transfer

    Dec 16, 2014, 7:00 PM EST

    Sherron Dorsey-Walker, Freddie Jackson AP

    Iowa State is losing a guard that didn’t fit into the rotation.

  16. Texas guard will transfer

    Dec 16, 2014, 6:00 PM EST

    Damarcus Croaker AP

    Texas is already without Isaiah Taylor and lost more guard depth on Tuesday.

  17. Pregame Shootaround: Oklahoma is on upset alert on a quiet night in hoops

    Dec 16, 2014, 5:02 PM EST

    Buddy Hield  (AP) AP

    But there are a couple of good, off-the-radar games.

  18. The Ten Most Important Midseason Additions

    Dec 16, 2014, 3:44 PM EST

    Markus Kennedy AP

    Only one of the ten are potential season-changers.