Heart of a champion: ESPN feature on MN hoops star airs Sunday


Jarvis Johnson's basketball life has included more than sneakers, jerseys, hoops and state titles.

The former DeLaSalle High School star, who helped lead the Islanders to four consecutive state championships, needed a defibrillator placed in his chest after he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest at a practice as an eighth grader. He was diagnosed with a heart condition called hydropathic cardiomyopathy.

A secondary blow was dealt to Johnson in June when University of Minnesota doctors didn't clear him to play for the Gophers next fall. Johnson had picked the Gophers over other Big Ten basketball powers Michigan State and Wisconsin, among other Division I teams.

On Sunday, Johnson's story will be told to the nation when ESPN's SportsCenter airs a special feature on him called "Rise Up." Marcus Fuller reports that the special will air at 9 a.m., 10 p.m. and midnight Sunday.

But ever since Johnson was deemed medically ineligible to play for the Gophers, supporters of Johnson have established a motto of "Do it for Jarvis." There's a hashtag on social media, "#DoItForJarvis."

According to the Star Tribune, Johnson and his family were shocked when he wasn't cleared by the Gophers.

Yahoo Sports notes that it's possible Johnson could transfer to another school to receive medical clearance, citing past examples of players with heart conditions being denied by one school only to transfer to another.

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