Donor heart found for NBA champion, ‘Survivor’ contestant Scot Pollard

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A heart donor has been found for NBA champion and “Survivor” contestant Scot Pollard, his wife said on social media on Friday.

“It’s go time!” Dawn Pollard posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Please keep the prayers coming for Scot, the surgeons, for the donor and his family who lost their loved one. This donor gave the most amazing gift of life and we are forever grateful.”

Pollard, who turned 49 on Monday, needed a transplant because of a genetic condition that was likely triggered by a virus he caught in 2021. The same condition killed his father, who died at 54.

Pollard’s size complicated efforts to find a donor with a heart big enough to fit his 6-foot-11, 260-pound body. He was admitted to intensive care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Feb. 7.

“I’m staying here until I get a heart,” he said in a text message to The Associated Press from his Nashville, Tennessee, hospital room. “My heart got weaker. (Doctors) agree this is my best shot at getting a heart quicker.”

A 1997 first-round draft pick after helping Kansas reach the NCAA Sweet 16 in four straight seasons, Pollard was a useful big man off the bench for much of an NBA career that stretched over 11 years and five teams. He played 55 seconds in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ trip to the NBA Finals in 2007, and won it all the following year with the Celtics despite a season-ending ankle injury in February.

Pollard retired after that season, then dabbled in broadcasting and acting. He was a contestant on the 32nd season of “Survivor,” where he was voted out on Day 27 with eight castaways remaining.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA

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