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Marcus Camby Collapses Before Game Against St. Bonaventure

January 14, 1996

OLEAN, N.Y. (AP) _ Marcus Camby, the outstanding center for top-ranked Massachusetts, was in stable condition Sunday after collapsing minutes before a game against St. Bonaventure.

Camby was accompanied to Olean General Hospital by UMass coach John Calipari. The 21-year-old junior from Hartford, Conn., was taken by ambulance to the hospital after the Minutemen completed their pregame warmups.

A hospital spokesperson would not speculate on what caused Camby difficulty six minutes before tipoff, but athletic trainer Ron Laham said the problem seemed serious at first.

``We weren’t dealing with someone that didn’t have a pulse,″ Laham said. ``He was breathing. He had a pulse, but we were dealing with someone that wasn’t responsive. We wanted to find out why.

``We’re obviously concerned for Marcus. We want to make sure that he’s OK. He’s as good as can be expected.

Massachusetts public relations director Bill Strickland said hospital officials told him Camby was conscious and alert.

An eyewitness, Ed Baron, the brother of St. Bonaventure coach Jim Baron, said Camby ``was hurting″ after collapsing.

``His eyes were open.″ Baron said. ``He looked more scared than anything.″

Another source said Camby went down in a runway between the court and the visiting team’s dressing room.

A source at the hospital said Camby underwent a CAT scan. He also said the player wanted to know the score of the game while it still was in progress. UMass (14-0) won the game 65-52.

Sophomore Inus Norville replaced Camby in the starting lineup against the Bonnies. Assistant James Flint took over the team while Calipari went to the hospital.

The 6-foot-11 Camby is averaging 20.9 points and 7.5 rebounds for UMass. He is widely considered among the best big men in college basketball and already has been touted as a high draft choice when he decides to turn professional.

Camby was named Atlantic 10 Conference player of the week Sunday for the second straight time and third time this season.

In his previous two games, he had career-high 38 points against Dayton, then 34 in an overtime victory over St. Joseph’s.

Camby’s scoring average leads the conference as does his average of 3.2 blocked shots.

He is 16 points shy of 1,000 for his career and is the school’s career blocked-shot leader with 250, having passed Julius Erving.

Camby bruised his right knee early in the semifinals of the Rainbow Classic last month against Southern California and didn’t return to the game. He didn’t start in the championship game against Syracuse, but played 33 minutes and had 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.

The incident comes just four days after a UMass swimmer, Greg Menton, suffered an apparent heart attack and died during a meet at Dartmouth College. Menton, 20, a junior from Dundee, Ore., had just finished swimming in two events.

A standout athlete, Menton held UMass school records in the 100-yard backstroke (51.38) and the 100-yard butterfly (50.14). He swam the anchor leg of the 200-yard medley relay (1:33.71), which broke the school record at the 1995 Atlantic 10 Championships.

As a member of the university’s water polo team, which this fall reached the final four for the squad’s highest finish ever, Menton set the school record for the most steals in a season (63) and had 40 goals and 29 assists.

On Jan. 27, 1994, UMass junior guard Michael Williams collapsed on the floor during game at Cincinnati. An extensive battery of tests revealed no cardiac problems and he was cleared to play two weeks later with doctors saying it was most probably ``a common faint in association with a mild respiratory infection and dehydration.″

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