Health concern leads to end of career for TU's Kodi Maduka
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Friday, August 03, 2012
8/03/12 at 6:14 AM
The University of Tulsa and coach Danny Manning announced on Thursday that because of health reasons, the Golden Hurricane basketball career of forward Kodi Maduka has ended.
On April 4 - the same date on which Manning was introduced as TU's new coach - the 20-year-old Maduka collapsed during a pickup game. It is believed that the 6-foot-11 junior from Arlington, Texas, has an issue with his heart.
Maduka remains on scholarship while pursuing a degree in petroleum engineering.
In a statement released by the university, Maduka was quoted as saying, "I am blessed to be alive and healthy, and I'm doing perfectly fine. ... I am anxious to help the younger guys on the team in their transition to college and doing what I can to help my teammates. I am extremely fortunate to have this opportunity.
"The outpouring of support and prayers throughout this time has been incredible. My family and I would like to thank the athletic department, the athletic trainers, my teammates, coach Manning and the coaching staff for their rapid response and their continuing encouragement. I also owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to the Tulsa community, the university, the fans and the media for their support throughout my career."
After Maduka did not play during the second half of a Nov. 30 loss at Oklahoma State, then-TU coach Doug Wojcik explained why: "At times, his heart races a little bit." Three days later, Maduka did not play during a home loss to Arizona State.
After his collapse in April, Maduka was transported to St. Francis Hospital for six days of observation and tests. Ultimately, doctors and the Maduka family agreed that Kodi Maduka should not continue competitive basketball.
"This is obviously heartbreaking for Kodi and his family, as well as for our basketball program, but Kodi's health is most important," Manning said. "... We will do everything we can to help Kodi through this transition. He is still a valuable member of our basketball program and will be involved with us daily."
Maduka made 29 starts during the 2011-12 season. He averaged 8.1 points along with a team-high 6.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots. He shot 52 percent from the field.
Original Print Headline: Health issue ends TU forward's career
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397