Nearly four months after he collapsed during a pickup game on April 4, it was announced on Thursday that Tulsa center Kodi Maduka has played his final game due to health concerns.
According to Bill Haisten of the Tulsa World, Maduka underwent six days of tests following the April collapse, with doctors and his family coming to the conclusion that he should no longer play.
A petroleum engineering major from Arlington, Texas, Maduka will remain on scholarship and finish his studies at Tulsa.
In a statement released by the university, Maduka was quoted as saying, “I am blessed to be alive and healthy, and I’m doing perfectly fine. . . . I am anxious to help the younger guys on the team in their transition to college and doing what I can to help my teammates. I am extremely fortunate to have this opportunity.
“The outpouring of support and prayers throughout this time has been incredible. My family and I would like to thank the athletic department, the athletic trainers, my teammates, coach Manning and the coaching staff for their rapid response and their continuing encouragement. I also owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to the Tulsa community, the university, the fans and the media for their support throughout my career.”
The first problem for Maduka last season came in Tulsa’s November 30 game against Oklahoma State, as then-head coach Doug Wojcik did not play Maduka in the second half due to a heart issue.
Wojcik explained after the game that Maduka’s heart would race on occasion according to the World, and Maduka did not play in the Golden Hurricane’s game against Arizona State three days later.
With Jordan Clarkson having already transferred to Missouri, losing Maduka is a blow to Tulsa’s hopes in year one of the Danny Manning era.
Scott Haralson (11.1 ppg) is Tulsa’s leading returning scorer, with the other four of their top five having either graduated (Steven Idlet), transferred (Clarkson and Eric McClellan, who is now at Vanderbilt) or in the case of Maduka retired.
But a player’s health trumps on-court needs, and in that regard this should be seen as a happy day for Maduka and his family.
Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.