Cal's Rogers released from hospital

Updated: October 2, 2009, 11:19 PM ET
Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. -- Tierra Rogers, the highly touted California freshman forward diagnosed with a rare heart condition, was released from a San Francisco hospital Friday night a day after having a defibrillator implanted.

Rogers was released from UC San Francisco Medical Center and coach Joanne Boyle was helping Rogers get settled back into her dorm room. Rogers is set to be reunited with her Golden Bears teammates in the coming days -- even though she'll no longer be playing basketball alongside them.

"Her spirits are good," Boyle told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "It's just been a rough go and a lot to take in the last couple of days. She's moving really slow. She's good, but just trying to process it all."

Cal said Rogers' condition was discovered as the result of a Sept. 21 workout in which she had trouble breathing and later collapsed at Haas Pavilion outside the training room. She was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital, where she spent a week for testing and observation.

Once doctors determined she had a cardiac condition, she was then transferred to UC San Francisco Medical Center on Monday. It was there where doctors discovered her condition -- Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia -- and performed the procedure. Her condition could have been fatal had it not been discovered, the school said.

The plan is for Rogers to remain part of the team in some capacity, likely as an observer on the bench. Boyle called this development "devastating."

"We're trying to figure out what role she will have on the team," Boyle said. "She wants to be involved in everything."

Rogers will undergo further testing next week, according to assistant media relations director Melissa Dudek. Rogers also is likely to discuss her situation publicly as soon as she has the strength to do so. Her teammates have poured out their support.

A high school All-American, Rogers has already been through a horrible ordeal. Her activist father was shot to death at halftime of one of her games across the street from the Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep gym in San Francisco on Jan. 12, 2008. She considered giving up basketball after the tragedy.

Rogers led her high school team to state titles from 2006-08, including perfect 32-0 seasons in 2007 and '08. She lost only three games in her entire four-year high school career.

The Golden Bears reached their first regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament in March, hanging tough with eventual unbeaten champion Connecticut before losing 77-53.

Rogers was a top recruit in a nationally recognized freshman class, signed to help fill a void left by the departures of several key players from last season's NCAA run.

The school said that Dr. Brad Buchman, medical director of University Health Services at Cal and interim head team physician for the athletic department, provided information about the rare condition and that "it is one of the most common causes of sudden cardiac death in young adult athletes."

It can also produce worsening heart function over time, thus the risks with rigorous physical activity like basketball and the training involved.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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