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Former Wolves player, exec Fred Hoiberg to undergo open heart surgery


A heart problem ended Fred Hoiberg's playing career with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but Friday the Iowa State head men's basketball coach said it won't do the same to his coaching career.

Hoiberg, 42, will undergo open heart surgery next Friday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. He just completed his fifth season as the Cyclones' basketball coach, leading them to their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance and back-to-back Big 12 Tournament championships.

It is the second open heart procedure for Hoiberg, who was forced to retire as a Timberwolves player following the 2004-05 season.

"I knew that it was something that would need to be done at some point," Hoiberg told reporters on Friday. "My valve has severe regurgitation and the time has come to get it replaced. I am hopeful this will be my last surgery and I'm looking forward to getting this behind me."

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According to the Associated Press, Hoiberg twice asked doctors to push back the surgery. He was first asked to get it done in September, then again in December, but Hoiberg indicated the Cyclones' success played a part in his decision to ask doctors to hold off.

"I wanted to get through the season," Hoiberg said. "We came to an agreement that if I didn't show any symptoms, the doctor was OK with me coaching."

The Des Moines Register notes that Hoiberg will be hospitalized about a week and recovery will take a few weeks at home following the procedure. But he is expected to be ready for Iowa State's August series of games in Spain.

Hoiberg spent two seasons with the Timberwolves, he knocked down more than 70 three-pointers in both seasons, but retired following the 2004-05 season, because of his heart troubles.

Following his playing days, he spent a few seasons in the Timberwolves front office as well.

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