NBA Teams
Dave McMenamin, ESPN Staff Writer 105d

Nick Gilbert, son of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, set for major brain surgery

NBA, Cleveland Cavaliers

Nick Gilbert, the 21-year-old son of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, is scheduled to undergo major brain surgery at a Detroit-area hospital this week, according to a team spokesman.

Gilbert's son was born with neurofibromatosis, commonly referred to as NF, a nerve disorder that causes tumors to grow anywhere in the body at any time. One out of 3,000 people on average is born with NF.

The procedure -- laser ablation brain surgery -- is scheduled for Tuesday. The tumor is located in the brain stem, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.

"It's tough," coach Ty Lue said at Monday's practice. "A lot of guys sent out a video to Gillie today. Just wished him luck. We're all praying for him and wish him the best. Hate to see a young guy go through that, let alone anyone, but being so young and having so much spirit that he has is great. So we are all praying for him and wish him well."

Nick Gilbert entered into basketball fans' collective consciousness as a 14-year-old when he served as the Cavs' representative at the 2011 NBA draft lottery wearing a bow tie and thick, dark-rimmed glasses. He was dubbed the franchise's good luck charm when they won the No. 1 pick.

He has already been through one life-saving brain surgery more than 10 years ago and has been treated by chemotherapy on and off for 15 years.

Nick is one of Dan Gilbert's five children and attends Michigan State University, his father's alma mater.

Gilbert is on the board of directors at the Children's Tumor Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to find a cure for NF.

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