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KAUNA, LITHUANIA - Former Portland Trail Blazer center Arvydas Sabonis reportedly suffered a heart attack on Tuesday and was taken to a hospital.
The medical emergency reportedly happened after Sabonis played a pick-up game of basketball in Kaunas, Lithuania, his home town.
Reports on social media (#sabonis) indicate Sabonis is expected to recover. How serious the incident was and what condition Sabonis is in has not been confirmed.
KATU Sports reporter Craig Birnbach said Sabonis, 47, told him recently that he still plays basketball every week. Sabonis recently returned to Portland in August after being inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
Sabonis, 47, played center for the Blazers from 1995 until 2003. He also played center for the last Soviet Union Olympic Team in 1988 when the team defeated the United States and later won the gold medal.
While playing for Portland, Sabonis was a fan favorite and was also voted European Player of the Year twice. He is 7 feet 3 inches tall.
The Trail Blazers issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon: "The Portland Trail Blazers have confirmed that Arvydas Sabonis has been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack in his native Lithuania. His condition is believed to be non-life threatening. Our thoughts are with Arvydas and his family at this time. We wish him well in a speedy recovery."
"Lithuanian news site Delfi.lt reports that former Portland Trail Blazers center Arvydas Sabonis suffered a heart attack while playing basketball Tuesday night. Spanish website Cadenaser.com reported soon after that Sabonis did suffer a heart attack but quoted Arturo Ortega, a representative for Sabonis, who said the center was “out of danger.”
i know it's supposed to be a minor heart attack, but it's still very sad. He's only 46, that's younger than Jordan. if i understand correctly, it was a pickup game with his friends, older guys, nothing out of the ordinary.
It's one thing when one of the greats gets too old to play pro basketball.
it's another when it gets dangerous for them to play basketball whatsoever, and so young.