New Mexico forward Emmanuel Negedu got a second chance at a college career when he transferred from Tennessee and secured a waiver from the NCAA allowing him to play immediately. Doctors there cleared the sophomore to play despite Negedu's sudden cardiac arrest in 2009.
But after 10 games as a Lobo, Negedu's career is now finished. The school announced this on Thursday after ruling him out indefinitely in December, and he never returned. The issue? A "bad read" on his defibrillator.
"The most important thing about the situation is Emmanuel's health," New Mexico coach Steve Alford said in a statement. "It's unfortunate that due to health concerns he will no longer be able to participate. However, Emmanuel will continue to be a vital member of Lobo basketball on a daily basis. He will remain on scholarship and work hard towards attaining his degree as well as continue to get the medical care he needs."
Negedu averaged 4.7 and 5.4 rebounds, with his absence hurting the team's depth as it failed to make the NCAA tournament. Without him, the Lobos should still be fine next season as they could be one of the favorites in the Mountain West Conference.
Forward Drew Gordon averaged a double-double after becoming eligible in December, and guard Kendall Williams was the league's freshman of the year. New Mexico has transfer guard Demetrius Walker available next season as well.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, Negedu has no regrets.
"I'm just happy," he said. "People are like, 'oh, E-Man can't play anymore, oh E-Man can't play anymore.' But the people I'm with are like dads to me. I'm happy. The medical staff has been taking great care of me. …
"I want to get a degree and all that. If I still want to play basketball, and everything's good for me, I might decide to play."
As far as getting a second chance at New Mexico, Negedu said, "Everything's been good. I made a good decision coming down here. I gave it a shot. All I needed was a shot. Nobody gave me that when I was in Tennessee; a second chance. And I had that."