There were no signs, no pains, no discomfort—nothing.
It was 2005 and Fred Hoiberg had just completed the best season of his life, leading the NBA in three-point shooting. He was 32 and ready to finish out the the second year of his $3.36 million contract with the Timberwolves, but a routine exam for a life insurance policy turned up the unimaginable.
“I was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm back in 2005,” Hoiberg explains in a new video released to bring awareness to heart conditions. “That was due to the bicuspid aortic valve. Talk about a kick in the gut. I was 32 years old. I was in the prime of my career. I’d just led the NBA in three-point shooting. I basically was playing on the court with a ticking time bomb in my chest. It was very emotional. I guess the first thing you go through is denial. I’ve got to get a second opinion here; it can’t be true. I don’t feel anything, but once we talked to other doctors, yeah, I needed that surgery.”
This past summer before taking over as head coach of the Bulls, Hoiberg had to get the repaired aortic valve fully replaced before it gave out.
He explained his decision:
“I didn’t want to put my family through the worry and the concern. It’s tough on the family when you’re in the operating room with surgery that complicated.”
For more about Hoiberg’s procedure and the On-X Valve, CLICK HERE.