Ceballos Recovered and Ready for Season

by Jeramie McPeek
VP, Digital
By Stefan Swiat,
Posted: Dec. 16, 2011

During the holiday season, people often reflect about what they’re grateful for in their lives. Former Suns star Cedric Ceballos is unique because he’s just plain grateful for his life.

On November 27, Ceballos suffered a series of small heart attacks while playing in an ABA basketball game for the Arizona Scorpions, a team which he also co-owns. However, at the time, the former All-Star had no idea that he was experiencing a heart attack.

“When the first one was happening I felt like my jersey was tight and my throat was dry,” Ceballos recalled. “That was the only thing I felt, so I sat down for a little bit.”

The former slam dunk champ re-entered the game before using halftime to rest up. After warming up during the halftime break, he realized something was wrong and called it a day.

Ceballos spent the night rehydrating, taking an aspirin and setting an appointment with his doctor for the following Monday, but something just didn’t feel right. So instead of sleeping on it, he checked himself into the hospital.

“Most people either play through it, like (former basketball players) Armen (Gilliam) or Pistol Pete (Maravich) or Hank Gathers,” Ceballos said. “They go to sleep and never wake up. So the two things that I did saved me.”

The former Suns forward needed an angioplasty and a stent to open an artery that was completely blocked and another one that had 70-percent blockage. His other option was open-heart surgery.

“My first reaction was like, I’ve been watching heart attacks on television for years and it’s a big dramatization where you can’t breathe," Ceballos said. “But it’s not like that at all.

"It was scary when they said we had to go in for emergency surgery. That got me more scared than the fact that I was having a heart attack.”

After the surgery, Ceballos didn’t need to make any lifestyle changes, since he already ate well and abstained from drinking alcohol and smoking. It was determined that the series of heart attacks occurred because of genetic reasons.

Now, just a couple of weeks into recovery, Ceballos was cleared to play basketball and resume his normal physical activities. The 42-year-old stated that he’s going to refrain from further playing with the Scorpions, but will begin working out regularly on his own.

And good news for Suns fans, Ceballos has already returned to his work as the in-game MC for the franchise. Heading into his ninth season in that role, there’s no doubt that no one is more grateful than Ceballos to see yet another Suns season.

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