Wilcox: 'I want to finish what Ive started here'

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Wilcox: 'I want to finish what Ive started here'

BOSTON -- Chris Wilcox was grilling during an off day in March when he received a phone call.
One of the Boston Celtics medical staff was on the line asking if he wanted to come in for a check up.
Figuring he would get his bi-annual physical out of the way, he drove in for what he thought would be a routine visit.
I just went and that was it for me, Wilcox recalled to CSNNE.com outside the Celtics locker room on Thursday following their win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Tests revealed an enlarged aorta that would require season-ending surgery. After just 28 games (5.4 points, 4.4 rebounds), the 29-year-old power forwards first stint with the Celtics was over.
Wilcox underwent the procedure on March 29 at the Cleveland Clinic, the same location where teammate Jeff Green also had season-ending heart surgery in January.
I remember going in at 6:00 in the morning, he said. That was it.
With hardly any memories from the operation, Wilcox is looking ahead to his future.
His physical activity has been limited to walking and occasionally riding an exercise bike. Wilcox expects to be cleared for more activity in two weeks -- though he proudly notes he is ahead of schedule -- and can begin training three months after the surgery.
For now, he literally has to take a backseat to the recovery process. Wilcox is not allowed to drive yet.
Im just trying to get back, said Wilcox, who has lost 20 pounds since the surgery. I havent been doing too much, rehabbing for the last two weeks, trying to get to back to where I can run. Right now theyve just got me riding the bike, walking, and stuff like that. They told me Im ahead of schedule so Ive been trying to walk and do stuff like that to get my wind back up.
The Celtics waived Wilcox in March, clearing a roster space to add big man Ryan Hollins. Even though he is no longer officially on the team, Wilcox flew from his home in North Carolina to attend the Celtics regular season finale against the Milwaukee Bucks. He plans to join the team during the playoffs in Atlanta against the Hawks, and hopes to be with them again next season.
I want to finish what Ive started here, he said. I thought this was a great opportunity for me and things were working out well, and I went to the doctor to get a check up and things just changed.

Andrew Hawkins celebrates joining Patriots with 'Ballers' spoof

Andrew Hawkins celebrates joining Patriots with 'Ballers' spoof

Andrew Hawkins' situation isn't far off from a character in HBO's "Ballers." And he played into those connections with a video on Twitter.

The slot receiver, who signed with the Patriots on Wednesday, shares some similarities with the fictional football player Rickey Jerret, a veteran receiver who wades through interest from a number of teams, including New England, during free agency. Because of those similarities, Hawkins spoofed on a scene from "Ballers" where Jerret works out with Patriots receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. Hawkins imposes his face over Jerret's.

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

The Coyotes have hired former player Craig Cunningham as a pro scout, keeping the 26-year-old in hockey after a cardiac episode ended his playing career this season. 

Drafted by the Bruins in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, Cunningham played 34 games for Boston over parts of two seasons before he was waived and claimed by Arizona. He totaled 19 games for the Coyotes, but served as captain of the Tucson Roadrunners, the team’s AHL affiliate. 

Cunningham was hospitalized after he collapsed during pregame warmups on Nov. 19. He was kept alive by continual CPR, but had his lower left leg amputated the next months due to an infection from the episode. 

Known as a high-character player who was popular with his teammates, Cunningham’s transition to scouting lets him further his career after a scary break. 

"I'm very excited to begin the next chapter of my life with the Coyotes," Cunningham said in a statement released by the team. "I'm very grateful to John Chayka, Dave Tippett, the Coyotes and Roadrunners organizations, and all of the great fans across Arizona for the incredible support I've received over the past year. I'm looking forward to helping the Coyotes and I can't wait to get started in my new role."

Said Chayka, the team’s general manager: ”We're thrilled to have Craig join our hockey operations department as a pro scout. Craig was a smart, hard-working player with an incredible passion for the game. We're confident that he will bring those same qualities to the Coyotes in his new role and that he will be an invaluable asset to our organization. We look forward to Craig helping us in several areas and are excited that he is staying with the club."