With Roberto Nelson out of eligibility and Hallice Cooke having transferred, Oregon State is in need of perimeter players capable of stepping up in the first season of the Wayne Tinkle era. Among the guards Tinkle has at his disposal this season are junior college transfer Gary Payton II, and returnees Malcolm Duvivier and Langston Morris-Walker. Another option is 6-foot-3 freshman Chai Baker, who signed with the Pac-12 school last November and helped lead Malone (Florida) HS to a Class 1A state title last season.
However during a workout at Oregon State on Tuesday, Baker collapsed with a staff member performing CPR before having to use a heart defibrillator in order to resuscitate Baker according to Connor Letorneau of The Oregonian. As of Wednesday afternoon reports were that Baker was hospitalized in “critical but stable condition” at Good Samaritan Medical Center in Corvallis.
According to CSN Northwest, a report by Allison Posey of WMBB TV in Panama City, Florida stated that a blood clot in Baker’s leg was believed to be the cause of the medical issue. Also of note in this situation is the fact that Baker passed the heart screening tests required of athletes by Oregon State.
Obviously it’s too early to determine anything with regards to Baker’s status for the upcoming season, and given the situation basketball will be the least of anyone’s concerns at this time. Hopefully Baker’s stay in the hospital is a short one, and thankfully a quick-thinking staff member knew what to do when the young man collapsed.