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To Give Your Heart and To Have Your Heart Take It Away

This past month, the sports world lost many significant individuals as they decided to hang up the jersey or clipboard, and ride off into the sunset. After years of service in their sport, which included masterpiece seasons, unmatched dedication, and tremendous competitive spirits; many memories, mere trivial answers, and for some, immortality into the Hall of Fame is now their destiny.

A path they willingly chose.

Except For one individual.

On December 11, 2008, Cuttino Mobley was forced to retire due to a condition known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, or HCM. According to medical definition, HCM is a genetic heart disease that creates a thickening of the heart wall muscle and accounts for over 40% of all deaths on athletic fields across the country. One in every 500 North Americans are diagnosed with HCM. HCM can be detected and treated to allow normal and productive lives. However, if got unprotected, HCM can lead to sudden cardiac arrest, and most cases, death.

Cuttino Mobley, a professional basketball player for over ten years, was diagnosed with the condition upon entry into the NBA. He has since gone on to be a solid player, endure a productive career and become one of the NBA's class acts.

GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
736 570 37.0 .433 .379 .836 3.9 2.7 1.2 .4 16.1

However, upon being traded to the New York Knicks earlier this year, Mobley failed his physical, as per usual due to his condition. However, he was later notified of the decline of his health due to his condition.

Mobley was then forced to walk away from the game he loved, and the dream he gave so much for at the age of 33.

“The specialists I have seen made it clear that my heart condition has gotten worse, and I cannot continue to play professional basketball without putting my health and life in serious danger. As much as I want to keep playing in the NBA, I have no choice but to follow the advice of my doctors and step away from the League. I have had the privilege of playing in the NBA for 10 years, but my health and family must come first, and it is time to move on to the next stage in my life. This has definitely been a shocking situation for me, but I want my fans, friends and loved ones to know that I will be fine. My career has been a blessing and I am grateful to have had this experience.


As Mobley emotionally declared his thoughts during his press conference, he referred to his son, his family and his friends as he put his life in perspective. And although the others who have walked way from their sport voluntarily will be remembered for their accolades and achievements, Mobley reminds us of a common, yet forgettable lesson of how fast life can change, the irony of destiny, and the power of God's faith.

An NBA trade saved his life! Wrapping your mind around the thought, and timing of every detail that came together, may never occur.

We also may not be sure of what the future holds for Cuttino Mobley, but we were reminded that everything happens for a reason, and there is a greater plan in place for him, and his family.

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