All Heart Clinic
We are very excited to announce our newest partnership with the American Heart Association. Partnering with them was a no brainer for our program. Helping educate adults and children about heart health and living a healthy lifestyle is something super important to us. At the bottom of the email is the information of the clinic. In the middle is the reason why this is so important to me.
Personally I have been dealing with my own heart issues that have changed the way I live my life.
In 2014, I was playing my 10th year of professional basketball in Europe and coming off a season where I was named European Player of the Year in my league in Germany. On a visit back home I did not feel well. I called my dad and asked him to take me to the hospital. When I arrived at the hospital, they told me I was a having a heart attack. I was like, "No way! I am a professional athlete and in the best shape of my life." The next morning they scheduled an angiogram to see what was going on. After I came out of the surgery they told me good news, you did not have a heart attack, but something is wrong and we are not quite sure what it is. They then sent me to Northwestern Hospital where I met Dr. Robert Bonow, who changed my life.
Dr. Bonow asked me a bunch of questions about what was going on and how I was feeling. Dr. Bonow was responsible for evaluating rookie prospects who were entering the NBA so he was very familiar with my lifestyle. He said let me go in the back and review your results and lets figure this out. Ten minutes later he entered the room with tears in his eyes. He asked me "Are you still playing basketball?" I of course answered yes I was still playing professionally, coming off of my best season. He said, "Greg, unfortunately you have a condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) and I am going to advise you that you can never play basketball again." He told me I could never play basketball again, not even 3 on 3, and that I should stay away from all competitive sports and intense activity. I asked about lifting weights. He said, "Your days of lifting heavy are over." Dr. Bonow explained to me how I was at a higher risk of sudden death because of my condition and that I needed to change my lifestyle to help decrease the chances of that happening.
My next memory was calling my wife and crying while walking up and down Michigan Ave explaining this news. You see, I was not an NBA player or making a ton of money playing basketball, but other than my family, it was the only thing I loved. It was so engrained into everything I did every single day. My life revolved around basketball and my workouts. I loved it and anyone who knew me at that time knows how much love I had for the game. On that day, I felt like a part of me died and I wasn't sure if I would be okay.
The next few days while laying in my bed feeling sorry for myself, I received a call. It was from a person who was familiar with what I was starting to do with Breakaway Basketball. At that time, Breakaway was still in its infancy stage. This person told me they had heard the news about my heart and was sorry. He asked that if I could never coach or do Breakaway again would I recommend his company to my families. I remember like it was yesterday that I said thank you for the call and hung up the phone. At that moment, I rose up out of bed and said let's go! I made the decision in that moment to go all in on Breakaway. If I could not play again then I was going to pour all of my heart and passion into the families and kids who were in our program. From that day on, I never looked back, never felt sorry for myself, and now realize how blessed I am that my condition was caught before something tragic could have happened. I loved playing and being part of a team. It was my entire life from 13 years old until I was 33. However, with that being said I LOVE coaching and building Breakaway even more. People ask me all the time if I miss playing and I always say NO. They typically looked surprised but for me I always say scoring 30 points in a game was great, but building a culture and inspiring motivating kids to pursue their passions is much more rewarding.
Thank you for all of your support these past 8 years. Breakaway has turned into something I never imagined but it is only possible due to all the great coaches in our program and all the great families who trust us to change their child's life.
ALL HEART CLINIC
Sunday June 2nd
Oakbrook Park District
Suggested Donation = $20
All donations will go to the American Heart Association
- 4:00-5:00pm K-2nd grade Boys/Girls
- 5:00-6:00pm 3rd-4th grade Boys/Girls
- 6:00-7:00pm 5th-6th grade Boys/Girls
- 7:00-8:00pm 7th-8th grade Boys/Girls
If you would like to reserve a spot please email firstname.lastname@example.org
No Walkups Allowed.
The clinic will consist of 30 minutes of skill work followed by 30 minutes of 3 on 3 game play. We will also have plenty of Breakaway and Under Armour giveaways.
If you have any questions please let me know and we look forward to seeing you in the gym!