NBA champion Scot Pollard receives heart transplant

NBA champion Scot Pollard receives heart transplant

/ 02:24 PM February 17, 2024

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FILE – Boston Celtics center Scot Pollard smiles while facing reporters during a news conference held to introduce the newly signed player at the team’s headquarters, in Boston, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2007. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

NBA champion and “Survivor” contestant Scot Pollard has had a heart transplant, his wife said on social media on Friday night.

“Scot has a new heart!” Dawn Pollard posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Surgery went well and I’ve been told the heart is big, powerful and is a perfect fit! Now on to the crucial part of recovery. Thank you to everyone for the continued prayers and support, but most of all, deepest thanks to the donor, our hero.”

Pollard, who turned 49 on Monday, needed a transplant because of damage to his heart from a virus he caught in 2021 that likely triggered a genetic condition he has known about since it killed his father at 54, when Scot was 16. Pollard’s size complicated efforts to find a donor with a heart big enough to fit his 6-foot-11, 260-pound body.

READ: Bronny James stable after cardiac arrest during basketball practice

Earlier Friday, Dawn Pollard posted that a heart had been found.

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“It’s go time!” she posted on X. “Please keep the prayers coming for Scot, the surgeons, for the donor and his family who lost their loved one. This donor gave the most amazing gift of life and we are forever grateful.”

A 1997 first-round draft pick after helping Kansas reach the NCAA Sweet 16 in four straight seasons, Pollard was a useful big man off the bench for much of an NBA career that stretched over 11 years and five teams. He played 55 seconds in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ trip to the NBA Finals in 2007, and won it all the following year with the Celtics despite a season-ending ankle injury in February.

READ: PBA star Roger Pogoy vows to return from heart condition

Pollard retired after that season, then dabbled in broadcasting and acting. He was a contestant on the 32nd season of “Survivor,” where he was voted out on Day 27 with eight castaways remaining.

Pollard went public with his condition last month began the process of listing himself at transplant centers. He was admitted to intensive care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Feb. 7.

“I’m staying here until I get a heart,” he said in a text message to The Associated Press from his Nashville, Tennessee, hospital room. “My heart got weaker. (Doctors) agree this is my best shot at getting a heart quicker.”

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