D.J. Bowles won’t play after heart surgery
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sport
Because of a cardiac condition, D.J. Bowles will not play college basketball at Wichita State, the school announced Friday. Bowles has been denied medical clearance to return to athletic participation by the athletic department and the medical staff.
Wichita State has offered to honor all four years of his scholarship.
“Our main concern is the health and well-being of D.J. for the rest of his life,” Wichita State athletic director Eric Sexton said in a statement. “He is an outstanding young man from a great family who has had a very traumatic 17 days. We hope that he will stay and complete his education at Wichita State, and have extended the commitment to honor his scholarship to he and his family.”
Bowles collapsed about 30 minutes into practice on Sept. 3 – “He scared the heck out of all of us,” coach Gregg Marshall told USA TODAY Sports afterward — and was rushed to a local hospital. He underwent surgery to have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) installed last Thursday at the Mayo Clinic.
When Marshall spoke on the subject a week ago, he said doctors hadn’t been sure what caused Bowles’ collapse. Marshall expressed concerns about Bowles’ future.
“I’m a little nervous about that because I saw what I saw and it was scary,” Marshall told USA TODAY Sports. “But if he’s cleared to play and doctors say he can play with that infernal defibrillator he’s had installed, who am I to say he can’t play?
“This young man has spent his whole life trying to become a basketball player, and he is a really good player. More importantly, he’s a super nice kid from a great family. We’re doing our due diligence to make sure we can best serve him for the rest of his life, not just his career.”
It looks like Wichita State felt the same way, not wanting to put Bowles back on the court. The school cited federal privacy laws in its release Friday, saying it will not comment further on the matter.
Bowles can try to transfer and find a program that will clear him for participation, which … [For more on D.J. Bowles won't play at Wichita State after heart surgery, click here.]