Former Lobo men’s basketball coach Fran Fraschilla has written a heartfelt and touching blog about the late Dontay Hicks, the junior-college point guard recruited to UNM in 1998 by Dave Bliss — but who never played here after a heart condition was diagnosed. (I’m linking to espn.com’s college basketball page, not Fran’s blog, because it’s an “insider” item that requires membership.) Hicks, who continued to play basketball, collapsed and died last year at age 32 after a pick-up game.
Fran’s reminiscence was prompted by Steve Alford’s signing of Emmanuel Negedu, the Tennessee transfer who went into cardiac arrest during preseason drills in Knoxville. It should be noted that Negedu has been cleared to play by doctors, and that Hicks never was. Perhaps the important thing here is the relationship that developed between Fraschilla and Hicks, though Hicks was recruited by the previous coach and never played for Fran.