Originally posted by LA TimesLaker draft pick Ronny Turiaf will undergo open-heart surgery to repair an enlarged aortic root and will sit out one season, if not longer, as he recuperates from a condition that could have taken his life if not diagnosed. Turiaf, 22, will have surgery in four to six weeks to treat the condition, which was detected by Laker doctors after extensive testing. Turiaf, a 6-foot-10 forward selected No. 37 by the Lakers in last month's draft, signed a two-year contract last week that was contingent upon his passing a physical.
Turiaf, who grew up on the Caribbean island of Martinique and played high school basketball in Paris, had tests done several years ago in France that showed an abnormality of the heart, but was cleared to play. Tests done last month at the NBA's pre-draft camp in Chicago also presented an abnormality, but he was cleared there as well.
One of Turiaf's attending physicians said there was a 75% chance he would have had a potentially fatal episode within a three- to four-year period, Black said. Turiaf was examined by Laker internist John Moe and Centinela Freeman cardiologist Phil Frankel, among others.
I've seen this guy in Gonzaga and I stil say the Lakers stole him in draft (I can't believe he dropped to #37). I was really looking forward to watching him this season since they really needed this guy to help their frontcourt.
But ultimately, Life > Basketball. Definitely don't want to have another Reggie Lewis occurance.
"The way I feel right now, I'd trade my mother if the right deal came along." -- Isiah Thomas.