Raptors' Jawai taking no chances with heart condition

{eot} Staff
9/30/2008 6:08:48 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

OTTAWA - Nathan Jawai would like be on the court with his teammates at Toronto Raptors training camp rather than watching from the bleachers.

But there's no taking chances when it comes to heart problems.

Jawai, the Australian who was drafted by the Raptors in July, is being held out of training camp after an irregularity was found in the team's routine pre-season cardiac screening.

"Of course, you're talking about your heart, it's one of the main parts of your body so that's tough," Jawai said Tuesday, after the team's first practice at Carleton University. "I think I took it OK, but I was a bit worried because I haven't had any problems with it before. (The doctor) told me, it's serious but it's not serious right now, I just want to find out some more information."

The team won't elaborate on the specifics of Jawai's test results, but Raptors president and GM Bryan Colangelo said the Raptors were taking every precaution with the six-foot-10, 280-pound rookie.

"We're going to get him in front of another specialist here this week and hopefully we'll have some better news by the end of the week," Colangelo said. "For now, you take the precautionary route and I think the prudence is to hold him out of practice until we're 100 per cent certain what we're dealing with."

Cardiac testing has become routine among professional sports leagues after numerous heart-related deaths, including Atlanta Hawks centre Jason Collier, who collapsed and died of a heart ailment during training camp in 2005 at the age of 28.

That same year, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Fred Hoiberg, New Jersey Nets forward Robert (Tractor) Traylor and Los Angeles Lakers draft pick Ronny Turiaf all had off-season heart surgery, and the Chicago Bulls traded Eddy Curry to the New York Knicks amid concerns about his heart. The six-foot-11 centre complained of chest pains that were diagnosed as heart arrhythmia.

Earlier this month, FIFA - the world's governing body for soccer - announced it was extending the compulsory heart testing program first used at the 2006 World Cup in Germany to players of both sexes at all world tournaments, including junior championships, after four more players died from undiagnosed heart problems last season.

The bid to better protect players came after players from clubs in England, Israel, Scotland and Spain died from undiagnosed heart problems last season.

Jawai said he's never had any hint of trouble with his heart.

"I'm fine, I'm normal," he said. "I haven't had any symptoms or anything. I'm breathing OK and everything's fine. I've played for four or five years now and I haven't dealt with it before, I've had no problems with it and it just basically showed up then. It's frustrating but I'm kind of handling it OK."

Jawai, who played last season for Cairns Taipans in Australia's National Basketball League, said when he got the news of his test result, he immediately got in touch with his family back home.

"I called back to find out that information and none of my family has had heart problems so that's one of the positive things I found out," he said. "It's been frustrating, I was very shocked about it. I'm just waiting to get cleared and I'm very positive it will be okay."

The Raptors signed journeyman centre Jamal Sampson to a non-guaranteed contract on Tuesday as insurance for Jawai. If the Australian is cleared to play, Sampson will be released.

Nathan Jawai (Photo: Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)


(Photo: Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story

Big Tour

A Historic Event

It was Canada's night at the NBA Draft as four players from north of the border were selected.

1. Andrew Wiggins - Cavaliers

8. Nik Stauskas - Kings

18. Tyler Ennis - Suns

45. Dwight Powell - Hornets

2014 NBA Draft Tracker

Social Media
twitter icon

Follow the Raptors and Raptor play-by-play man Matt Devlin on Twitter! Check out the latest Tweets!


TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - August 31st 2014

After drubbing Finland; is Team USA too confident? Will & Duane examine this, the Raptors at FIBA World Cup, Durant's Nike deal, WNBA Playoffs & more

TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - August 24th 2014

Love for Wiggins is official! Is the future bright for Minny? DeMar DeRozan makes USMNT, Tim Leiweke steps down from Raptors & what's next for Kobe?

TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - Aug 10th 2014

Love-Wiggins done deal? KD: The Real Reasons, what's next for USA Basketball, Becky Hammon breaks barriers & Naismith 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees

More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television