Jeff Goodman of ESPN reports that Nevada guard Hallice Cooke, who had just transferred to the school this offseason from Iowa State, is retiring from the sport after discovering a heart disease this offseason. Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette-Journal reports with more details about Cooke’s journey:
Wolf Pack guard Hallice Cooke was playing a pickup basketball game this summer at the L.A. Fitness in New Jersey when, after scoring a bucket and running down court, he got lightheaded and passed out.
Cooke awoke a few seconds later and jumped right back into playing like nothing was wrong. This week, after a handful of doctor visits, Cooke found out something in fact was wrong. A growth on his heart has gotten to the point where, at age 21 and with a bright future, he has to give up basketball to protect his health.
Murray quotes Cooke as being optimistic and upbeat about his future, which includes working for Nevada as a student volunteer assistant this season:
“It meant the world to me. To walk in the weight room after getting the news, 15 guys came up to me and you could see it in their eyes the impact the situation had on them. I told all of them, ‘Use my situation as an inspiration and don’t take a day on the court for granted.’ I didn’t think my situation would be like this, but I told them to use my situation as motivation for them.”