Feb 2, 2014; University Park, PA, USA; Purdue Boilermakers forward Jay Simpson (23) guards Penn State Nittany Lions guard Graham Woodward (3) during the second half at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O

Heart condition ends basketball career for Purdue Boilermakers forward Jay Simpson


The majority of stories surrounding college basketball at this time of year are inherently positive in nature. There is always the pomp and circumstance in the midst of the NCAA Tournament and the “madness” that it brings, but for Purdue Boilermakers freshman Jay Simpson, the tale is devastating.

Purdue has announced that Simpson, a freshman forward, has been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyotrophy (HCM), which doubles as the same issue that is blamed for the deaths of basketball players including Reggie Lewis and Hank Gathers.

Head coach Matt Painter said this in a published release:

“Obviously, this is very tough and upsetting news to take. You never want to see a young athlete’s career end in a fashion like this. Jay had a very bright future in our program and we are disappointed that he will not be able to continue his basketball career. We are very fortunate that our doctors were able to detect this condition early, which will enable Jay to live a long and healthy life.”

On the very bright side, this was detected early and Simpson was immediately removed from competition that could have threatened his life. Unfortunately, though, a young man won’t be able to pursue any dreams in playing the game that he has likely played his entire life, and that is never fun.

Best wishes to Simpson and his family.

Tags: Purdue Boilermakers