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Former Kings player Scot Pollard in need of heart transplant

Scot Pollard, former Sacramento Kings player, in need of heart transplant
Scot Pollard, former Sacramento Kings player, in need of heart transplant 03:27

SACRAMENTO - Scot Pollard, one of the Sacramento King's former greats, is in need of a heart transplant.

Pollard has undergone extensive tests to get to the bottom of his heart issues. Doctors have come to the conclusion he's suffering from a genetic issue that was triggered by a flu-like virus he contracted in 2021, the same thing that happened to his father who passed 30 years ago.

Pollard is an all-around athlete, a former NBA player who was with the Sacramento Kings from 1999-2003, he even made a debut on the hit reality TV show "Survivor."

"I'm a goer, I'm a doer," he said. "Not good at sitting around, never have been. So, that's been a challenge for the last three years."

His family is finally ready to open up about their struggles.

"We went back and forth about letting people know about this. It's come to its head and I think it's really important to talk about it," his wife Dawn Pollard said. "It's kinda cathartic to get his story out."

They want to raise awareness around the importance of donor lists and getting checked early.

"He'd always had his heart checked through playing and even in retirement. It just came on kind of out of nowhere," Dawn said.

"[The] surgeon here basically said for my size and my blood type, which is O-positive, the most common, that hurts my chances of getting a heart, mostly because of my size," Scot said. "There are about 10,000 extra beats a day so it's like I'm always walking uphill even when I'm sitting down."

Scot said he misses his daily walks with his wife Dawn the most.

"It's hard to see your loved one struggle, especially the man that is the strongest man I've ever known. It's hard to watch him struggle for breath and not be able to walk. We walked three miles a day," Dawn said. 

Scot hoped a pacemaker he got in April last year would give him another 10 years until a transplant was needed. Now, it's his only option and he's on a list in Indiana where he currently lives.

"When we started on the path to transplant, I was a meeting with my cardiologist in September, a check-in, and he started asking questions and that was when we all kinda realized how bad it had gotten," Scot said.

"He has that competitive, athletic mind. He wants to provide, he wants to be the father that can play ball and throw his son in the pool," Dawn said.

Scot is currently undergoing more tests to be put on transplant lists at two additional hospitals.

"I'm constantly appreciative of the network I have. Because of basketball, I am being taken care of by the best in the world," Scot said.

Scot is a good candidate for heart transplant surgery because he is otherwise healthy. Doctors said the hard part is finding him a heart, and one that's big enough for an NBA player.

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