Purdue head coach Matt Painter announced on Monday that redshirt freshman forward Jay Simpson’s basketball career has ended following the discovery of the heart condition hypertrophic cardiomyotrophy (HCM).
HCM is the heart condition that claimed the lives of other basketball players including Hank Gathers, Reggie Lewis, Kevin Duckworth and Jason Collier.
“Obviously, this is very tough and upsetting news to take. You never want to see a young athlete’s career end in a fashion like this. Jay had a very bright future in our program and we are disappointed that he will not be able to continue his basketball career,” Painter said in the release. “We are very fortunate that our doctors were able to detect this condition early, which will enable Jay to live a long and healthy life.”
Purdue team doctor Greg Rowdon also explained how HCM affects athletes in the release.
“HCM is a disease which causes structural abnormalities to the heart and may lead to sudden death in young exercising athletes. It’s discovery precludes the participation in competitive sports,” Rowdon said.
This is awful news for Simpson and you certainly have to feel for him as his basketball career has come to an unfortunate, premature end.
The 6-foot-10, 250-pound Simpson appeared in 26 games and averaged 4.3 points and 3.6 rebounds in 12 minutes per game this season. The school announced that Simpson will remain on scholarship and he’s set to graduate in May of 2016.