Heart Condition Ends Local Basketball Product's Playing Career - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Heart Condition Ends Local Basketball Product's Playing Career

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) - George Mason junior basketball player Darren Tarver, who collapsed due to a heart condition during a pickup game last week, was released from the hospital Thursday.

Tarver, 21, from Akron, Ohio, experienced cardiac arrest due to a heart arrhythmia. Doctors at Inova Fairfax Hospital implanted a device similar to a pacemaker in his left shoulder to monitor his heart. As a result, he will no longer be able to play college basketball.

"I am saddened that my playing career has come to an end," Tarver said. "But I am happy to be alive."

Tarver, a transfer from Wabash Valley (Ill.) Community College, averaged 18 points in three games for the Patriots before a stress fracture in his left foot ended his season. He scored 29 points in the Patriots' season-opening victory over Niagara.

Tarver averaged 16.7 points and was named the national junior college player of the year in 2001 after leading his team to a 36-1 record and the NJCAA national championship.

Tarver will remain at George Mason, and the school will honor his scholarship as he pursues a degree in sociology. His twin brother, Derrick, will undergo a series of tests Thursday to determine if he has the same heart problem.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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