Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle faints during practice, feeling better after leaving hospital

By Jeff Carlton, AP
Friday, October 8, 2010

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle faints at practice

DALLAS — Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle collapsed at practice on Friday and was briefly taken to a hospital.

The 50-year-old Carlisle will not travel to the Mavericks’ outdoor exhibition game Saturday in California against Phoenix, team president Donnie Nelson said. Carlisle is expected to return to the sidelines for a preseason game Monday in Dallas.

“He got lightheaded and fainted,” Nelson said. “I don’t know if he didn’t put enough sugar on his Wheaties this morning or what. But he’s fine now.”

Team spokeswoman Sarah Melton said Carlisle “was apparently lightheaded” and fainted on the court at the American Airlines Center. He was responding to questions as he was carried by stretcher to an ambulance and taken to Baylor University Medical Center.

“It was all sort of precautionary — get him to the hospital and make sure he is OK,” Melton said.

Nelson said Carlisle has fainted before, but that the coach is in good health.

“All of us faint, whether you’re in church and you stand up and get lightheaded or what have you.” Nelson said. “We’ve all been through it.”

Nelson said it was scary to see his coach go down and reminded him at first of the night college basketball star Hank Gathers collapsed and died on the court during a 1990 Loyola Marymount game.

“I was there the night went Hank went down,” Nelson said. “Weird things flash in your mind.”

Carlisle is a former NBA player who spent five seasons with Boston, New York and New Jersey. He is about to begin his third season with the Mavericks, following head coaching stints in Indiana and Detroit.

“I heard the fall,” guard Jason Kidd told The Dallas Morning News. “We don’t know what the situation is. Basketball is our job, but life comes before our job or anything else. Your well-being is the most important thing. That’s our coach and our family member. We got to make sure he’s all right and we’ll go from there.”

Dallas defeated Chicago in an exhibition 88-83 on Thursday night.

Last month, Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio was hospitalized with a mild heart attack a few hours after his team beat Notre Dame in overtime. Dantonio had a stent installed during surgery and is planning to return for his first game since on Saturday when the Spartans play at Michigan.

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