Hayes relates to Wilcox's situation

Hayes relates to Wilcox's situation
March 17, 2012, 3:31 am

SACRAMENTO, Calif. News travels pretty fast in the NBA, such as Boston Celtics forward Chris Wilcox being out for the year.

But Sacramento Kings forward Chuck Hayes didn't know why, until Friday.

That it is when a reporter informed him that Wilcox was out for the year due to a heart-related issue that would require surgery.

"It's heart-related?" a visibly shaken Hayes said. "Wow!"

The uncertainty that Wilcox is experiencing now about his future with the Celtics, with basketball, with life Hayes knows all too well what Wilcox is experiencing now emotionally.

Hayes had a four-year deal worth 21.3 million with the Sacramento Kings voided after a heart abnormality came up in his physical.

However, additional tests cleared him to play and he later signed another four-year deal with the Kings worth slightly more (22.4 million).

Wilcox was not as fortunate, with additional tests indicating surgery, which will be performed on March 29, was needed to repair his heart condition.

"It's tough," Hayes told CSNNE.com. "It puts things in a different light, as far as your life. A situation like that, it really puts it all in perspective. Anything internal, that's scary."

So was the grueling regimen of tests that Hayes recalls as the "worst 11 hours of my life."

Like Wilcox and another Celtics player who is out this year due to a heart-related condition, Jeff Green, Hayes spent some time at the Mayo Clinic in Cleveland.

"You got blood work, IV, treadmill, EKG, Echos, the whole nine," Hayes recalled.

As draining as it was mentally and physically, not knowing exactly what was going on with his body was even worst.

"It's worth it, all the tests, because they let you know where you stand with your body and your health," Hayes said. "But it is really tough on your mind and body, going through all those tests in one day."

While the surgery will keep Wilcox sidelined for the rest of this season, doctors have indicated he should make a full recovery and be able to resume playing next season.

"Staying positive is really important," Hayes said.

Hayes recalls getting words of encouragement via texts from a number of players such as Juwan Howard, Ronnie Turiaf (who also had heart surgery) and LaMarcus Aldridge, to name a few.

"Hearing from others really helps," Hayes said. "It's really bad to hear that he's going through something like this. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family, and I pray that he'll be back on the court real soon."