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Baylor guard’s career in jeopardy following HCM diagnosis

Scott Drew

AP Photo


King McClure’s summer didn’t quite go as planned.

Instead of working out to get himself in shape and ready to compete for a starting spot in Baylor’s back court, the 6-foot-3 sophomore guard was traversing the country, visiting doctors to find out if there was anyway that he could salvage his basketball career.

McClure has hydrotrophic cardiomyopathay, as he detailed to Bleacher Report, a condition that enlarges the muscles of the heart. A condition that has proven to be fatal for basketball players.

A doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota named Michael Ackerman has told McClure that there may be a way for him to continue his career, but that it doesn’t come without risk. From B/R:

Ackerman told the McClures that HCM can affect patients in seven different ways, but that only one of the seven factors (a slightly enlarged heart wall) was prevalent in King.

“Given King’s flavor of HCM, his chance of experiencing an HCM episode that could be life-threatening is about one-to-two percent per year,” Ackerman said.

Ackerman added that “preventative measures” been put in place that have a 95 percent likelihood of countering or aborting the problem “should that one percent become a reality.”

This is not all that uncommon of a situation. Minnesota did not clear freshman guard Jarvis Johnson due to a heart condition, as Johnson has an internal defibrillator implanted in his chest. Justin Moss, who was one of the best mid-major players in the country at Buffalo last season, has the same device. Both continued their playing career despite dealing with similar heart issues.

It’s a difficult position to be put in. McClure has to decide between giving up the one thing that he lives to do or risking his life every time he steps out on a basketball court.

It’s worth noting that McClure is the second Baylor basketball player in recent years to struggle with heart problems. Former center Isaiah Austin had his career come to a close do to Marfan’s Syndrome.