NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans Hornets owner George Shinn said Friday he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer but remains healthy and is optimistic that he will conquer the disease.
"My wife, Denise, and I remain strong in our faith and will maintain a positive attitude as I battle this with intense fervor and drive," Shinn said in a news release issued by the Hornets.
A businessman from Kannapolis, N.C., Shinn, 68, has been the owner of the team since he received an expansion franchise in Charlotte, N.C. in 1988. He moved the team to New Orleans in 2002, and worked with the NBA to provide the team with a temporary home in Oklahoma City for the 2005-2006 season after floods from Hurricane Katrina virtually shut down the city for weeks and damaged the New Orleans Arena.
The team split time between the two cities the following season and returned to New Orleans full-time for 2007-2008. The team set a club record for victories that season with 56 and clinched the 20-year-old franchise's first division crown.
"We've been a catalyst to help this city recover and we're going to keep doing everything we can to keep it that way," Shinn said at the time.
Team spokesman Harold Kaufman said no details were available on treatment options for Shinn. In the news release, Shinn said the doctors he is consulting are optimistic.
"This is not the first obstacle that I have had to overcome in life, but it will be another one that will be conquered," Shinn said. "Those closest to me understand my commitment to God and belief in the power of prayer, so all that I ask is for people to add me to their prayers."
Hornets coach Byron Scott said he spoke to Shinn when he was still awaiting test results, and that the outcome surprised everyone associated with the team.
"The biggest through on my mind was just to keep praying for him," Scott said. "This is something you don't want anybody to go through. I know Mr. Shinn is a fighter, and like he said, he's going to fight it all the way."