It’s been a long and hard road back to basketball for Etan Thomas, who underwent open heart surgery two years and two weeks ago. He missed the entire 2007-08 season following the operation. His 6-foot-10 inch, 260-pound frame lost 35 pounds during the recovery process. He struggled to put one foot in front of the other more than 10 times without exhaustion setting in while rehabbing.
People thought Thomas would never play another NBA game.
But Thomas, the former Tulsa Booker T. Washington standout, was determined to get back on the court. Doubters served as one of his driving forces. The acclaimed author and poet penned a song about misleading reports surrounding his heart condition. And he hit the gym. Hard. He made it back for the 2008-09 season but played in only 26 games after tearing his MCL in a game in mid-January. He spent this summer trying to come back from the latest setback, and cameras were around to capture footage of what his workouts were like.