Former UCLA head coach Steve Lavin recently revealed that he was suffering from prostate cancer. Despite his diagnosis, however, the current St. John’s Red Storm coach has remained adamant that he wants to keep leading his team despite his condition.
Lavin, who has essentially revived the St. John’s program from the abyss in the eyes of the national media in a relatively short amount of time, revealed in a statement on Friday that he was diagnosed in September. Despite this, he was told by specialists that he could delay his treatment until season’s end.
With the year officially over now, Lavin has focused his attention on getting treatment.
"My family feels fortunate that through annual health exams, we detected my condition at an early stage," Lavin said. "This past fall I didn't want to distract our team, but with the season behind us, we are now working with medical experts and taking the proper steps to tackle this health challenge head on."
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According to Lavin’s urologist, Jonathan Schiff, the cancer is “relatively low-grade” and his patient should be able to make a full recovery.
In large part due to Lavin’s efforts, St. John’s went 21-12 and tied for third place in the Big East this year. As a result, they were able to make it to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002 – ultimately falling to Gonzaga in the second round.
Lavin, of course, came to St. John’s after a seven-year stint as an ESPN analyst. Prior to that, he coached UCLA from 1996 to 2003 and was eventually fired after leading the Bruins to a 145-78 mark that included six NCAA tournament slots.
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