Tennessee men’s basketball sophomore forward Emmanuel Negedu is in stable condition after collapsing in the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex shortly after 4 p.m. Monday.
Negedu did not have a pulse when he was revived with a defibrillator at the scene by UT athletic training staff members.
He had regained consciousness and was alert when EMTs arrived to transport him to UT Medical Center by ambulance, according to a source in the Vols’ athletic community.
“We’d like to thank everyone for their concern and support,’’ UT coach Bruce Pearl said. “We ask you keep Emmanuel in your prayers.’’
Negedu had finished a workout in the weight room and was leaving the complex with teammates en route to a pick-up basketball game when he lost consciousness.
Negedu had gone through a more strenuous Monday morning workout and attended classes before returning to the UT weight room for a light session of upper-body strength training. He did not complain of any pains, nor did he exhibit any warning signs before collapsing, according to witnesses.
Negedu, known to coaches, teammates and fans as “E-Man,” was conscious when he was transported to UT Medical Center. He was undergoing an extensive battery of diagnostic tests and was to be held there overnight for observation, according to Vols’ associate athletic trainer Chad Newman.
A native of Nigeria, Negedu appeared in all 33 games last season, averaging 7.2 minutes per contest and 1.9 points. He shot 80 percent from the free throw line last season, tops among the players in the Vols’ rotation.
Negedu was recently moved from center to power forward, where he was expected to see considerably more playing time and challenge for a starting role this season.
Negedu, 6-foot-7 and 218 pounds, consistently tested out as the fastest and one of the strongest players on the team since his arrival from the Brewster Academy in New Hampshire last season. He often provided a spark upon entering games last season with his all-out style of play.
Many of Negedu’s Tennessee teammates and coaches have been to UT Medical Center to support him, as he does not have any family members residing in the U.S.