Former Ames and Iowa State University basketball standout Fred Hoiberg spoke with the media for the first time today since he had surgery to repair a valve in his heart earlier this month. Hoiberg now lives in Minneapolis and plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Hoiberg says the scariest moment so far came a week ago when he fell at home after passing out at the top of the stairs.
He says he had a pool of blood coming from his chin and they didn’t know where it was coming from. Hoiberg says it was probably the scariest moment he and his wife have ever had, because they didn’t know if he’d fallen on his chest.
Hoiberg the fainting episode last week was traced to a build-up of post-operative fluid near his heart that the doctor had to drain. He says the pulled out almost liter of fluid from around his heart. He says most people only have about a tablespoon of fluid in the sack surrounding the heart, so they think that restricted his blood flow and caused him to feint. Hoiberg says he wants to provide hope for others. He says he’s proof that you can get through a heart defect if you take the doctor’s advice and persevere.
Hoiberg said before the surgery that it could bring his playing days to an end after 10 years. He says he’s not thinking yet about his basketball future.
He says the last couple of weeks have been a tough ordeal and he hasn’t even thought about playing again. He says when he passed out, playing wasn’t even important, seeing his kids and family was the most important. Hoiberg says he does want to play again someday, but is not sure what his future holds.
He says as he gets to feeling better and training camp approaches, he’s sure his competitive juices will get flowing again. Hoiberg says he has to take his time and he says the T-Wolves management has told him he needs to take his time as his health is the most important thing right now.
Hoiberg says his family has been fantastic in supporting him in the whole process. He especially thanked his wife Carol, for sticking with him throughout the process. Hoiberg calls her his “rock” throughout the entire process. Hoiberg played in 76 games for Minnesota last season averaging just under six points. He led the league in three point accuracy.