What’s Important – Aztec Basketball

Posted by on March 2nd, 2015  •  0 Comments  • 

The San Diego State basketball season is fast coming to a close.  Just around the corner the Mountain West Tourney, then a bid to March madness.  A 22-win season will get you into post season, but there is something much more important brewing on Montezuma Mesa.
The college career of jumping jack forward Dwayne Polee, the UCLA transfer, could be over, should be over, before something happens that could lead to his life being over.
Polee has left the program again with another bout of cardiac arrhythmia, unusual heart beats being read from a heart monitor he was wearing.
The latest episode came after 61-days of tests and rest, examinations and medications.  All that on the heels of the scary December 22nd collapse on the court in an early season game.  And all that after a similar fainting episode in practice a year prior.
Polee saw the best sports-medicine has to offer.  6-specialists, including cardiac doctors at UCLA.  A wide variety of tests.  An ablation procedure to attack some heart cells took place.  Evaluations, stress tests, and monitoring.  From all that came the green light to return to full practice, and play in a game, which he did last week.  All looked well till late this past week.
SDSU is headed to post season, Polee should be headed to street clothes, a seat on the bench, and a search for something new to fulfill his athletic desires.  Playing basketball should not be part of any life style regimen, not now, maybe now not forever, or at least till they can configure what is triggering the fast speed heartbeats.
If you know basketball, you cannot close your eyes without have to remember the Hank Gathers tragedy at Loyola Marymount.  The dynamic USC transfer, who teamed with another Trojan transfer Bo Kimble, to put LMU on the basketball map.  High scoring, fun games, with a team that beat people and scared you with their firepower.
And then the scary on court scene, his collapse, the doctors, the emergency med crews, the ambulance, the death, the funeral, the sadness.  The stat sheet that once read 3-point shots and 120-point games, was replaced by an autopsy report that read things like heartbeat counts, and descriptions of an enlarged heart. 
There will be other things in life for Dwayne Polee to grasp, aside from 3-point shots and drive to the basket slam dunks.  There will be a college degree and a chance to enter the work world.  Maybe a way to stay in the game as a grad assistant, maybe become a coach.
But he should no longer be a player.  Steve Fisher and Jim Sterk should express that.  His father should command it.  Yet, there is talk he may play Wednesday against UNLV.
Better to see him graduate and get on with his life, than see him lying on the floor.  He can be part of the Aztecs march thru March Madness.  He just shouldn’t be allowed to be one of their players.  He may live for Aztecs basketball.  You don’t want to see him die because of Aztecs basketball.
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