Instead of forging ahead with preparation for the NBA draft as he planned, Seton Hall forward Herb Pope will wake up Thursday morning in a hospital bed.
Multiple sources told the Newark Star-Ledger that Pope was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital on Wednesday afternoon after he collapsed during a routine on-campus workout. A Gannett New Jersey report said the situation involves Pope's heart and it's "serious," but the redshirt sophomore will undergo further tests in hopes of determining what happened.
You obviously wouldn't wish a medical scare like this on anybody, but it seems especially cruel for it to happen to Pope. The Aliquippa native already defied the odds three years ago to survive five gun shots sustained in a late-night altercation after a party in his gang-ravaged hometown.
Pope recovered and pushed forward with basketball, playing a year at New Mexico State before transferring to Seton Hall. The 6-foot-8 bruiser averaged 11.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per game last season, nearly leading the Pirates to a surprise NCAA tournament bid.
Although Pope declared for the NBA draft soon after the season ended, he hadn't signed with an agent and was considering returning to school now that Kevin Willard had taken over as Seton Hall's new coach. Pope had been projected as a possible late second-round pick prior to Wednesday's scary news.