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Krzyzewski knows health must be priority
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On December 6, 2012 @ 12:00 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Nicole Auerbach,USA TODAY Sports
Coaches and health concerns have gone hand-in-hand as long as coaches have worked long hours, year-round, in high-pressure situations. But they haven’t always talked openly about it.
Now, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is – the same week that recently retired Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun mentioned he had surgery to remove an apparently cancerous growth from his lungs and two months after North Carolina coach Roy Williams had surgery to remove a potentially cancerous tumor from his kidney.
Calhoun also had spinal surgery in February and surgery to repair a fractured hip in August.
“You definitely think about taking better care of yourself whenever you hear about someone in your own profession getting sick in whatever way that is,” Krzyzewski told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday. “If something’s wrong, you’ve got to take care of it right away. For me, I’m fortunate it wasn’t cancer.
“For me, it was arthritis. … We have trainers to take care of our athletes. Sometimes, it’s like parents. You take care of your children and forget to take care of you.”
Krzyzewski is telling the story of his two hip replacement surgeries (in 1999 and 2002) in “Had I Known Then,” a booklet co-authored by Ellyn Spragins in which joint replacement patients share advice they wish they would have given their younger selves. Krzyzewski writes in his letter to his younger self to “tend to the pain” immediately instead of ignoring it for a long, miserable college basketball season of 1998-99.
“I thought that I could live with the pain,” said Krzyzewski, who had previously missed most of the 1994-95 season due to back surgery and exhaustion. “I was just about to start the 1998-99 season, and I said, ‘Look, I’m a competitor. I can take this. I’m Superman.’
“That season was a horrible one for me. Record-wise, it was great. We played for a national championship. But I was not at my best – I had to coach from a chair and was fighting pain every day.”
Krzyzewski got his left hip replaced days after the national championship game, and he got his right hip replaced … [For more on Krzyzewski, coaches know health must be priority, click here.]
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