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Wichita State denies D.J. Bowles from returning to basketball court after heart condition

  • Published Friday, Sep. 20, 2013, at 5:35 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, Sep. 20, 2013, at 5:37 p.m.

Freshman D.J. Bowles won’t play for Wichita State’s basketball team after being denied medical clearance, the university announced Friday. Bowles collapsed on the Koch Arena court during practice Sept. 3 and had surgery Sept. 12 to implant an electrical impulse defibrillator.

The athletic department and its medical staff decided against clearing Bowles to play, the department said in a statement.

WSU said it has invited Bowles to remain at the school on scholarship, but Bowles has not indicated whether he will accept the offer, assistant athletic director Larry Rankin said. If he remains at WSU, his scholarship would count against the basketball team’s total for this year but not after that.

“Our main concern is the health and well-being of D.J. for the rest of his life,” athletic director Eric Sexton said in a statement. “He is an outstanding young man from a great family who has had a very traumatic 17 days. We hope that he will stay and complete his education at Wichita State, and have extended the commitment to honor his scholarship to he and his family.”

Bowles and his family were told of the decision earlier Friday, Rankin said.

Wichita State has said trainers used an external defibrillator and CPR on Bowles after he collapsed Sept. 3. He was taken by ambulance to Via Christi Hospital St. Francis and stayed there five days. On Sept. 12, a cardioverter defibrillator was implanted into Bowles at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Bowles, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Cleveland, Tenn., attended Oldsmar (Fla.) Christian High last season. He was ranked the No. 63 point guard nationally last year by 247sports.com.

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