By Greg SoukupEAGLE, Neb. (May 9) – Adam Guillion kept Trevor Grossenbacher at bay to win Saturday’s Precise Racing IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car feature at Eagle Raceway.Doug Lovegrove and Terry Richards rounded out the top four finishers.Mike Densberger dominated for his first local Kaplan University IMCA Modified victory of the season.Trent Roth made the most of a lap 11 restart in gaining the lead and eventual NAPA IMCA Northern SportMod feature victory.After taking over the front spot with seven laps left, Roy Armstrong held off all Valentino’s IMCA Hobby Stock challengers following a restart with three circuits remaining.Sophomore speedster Spencer Pavey III ruled the Sam’s Club IMCA Sport Compacts.
Imagine being 25, a proven player in the NBA with a long career ahead.You go in for a routine preseason physical and the doctor lowers the boom with the news you have an aortic aneurysm.If it’s not corrected through surgery, it could mean instant death should it rupture.That’s what happened to Jeff Green, the newest member of the Clippers. prior to the strike-shortened 2011-12 season, Green was about to enter his second season with the Boston Celtics after being traded there from Oklahoma City during the previous season. He had averaged 10.5, 16.5, 15.1 and 13.3 points his first four seasons, so he was performing well.The next thing he knew, his career might be over. His life was in danger.Sitting at his locker prior to Monday’s 124-84 win over Phoenix, Green recalled that scary time in his life.“When I first got told that I needed the surgery, that was my first question: ‘Would I be able to play again?’” said Green, who said he had no symptoms. “The decision to come back and play was just, you know, basketball has been my whole life and to have that taken away, it was hard. It was very, very hard.”Green, 29, was getting emotional just talking about it. “But being told that I was able to play again was motivation to get back and be better than before,” the 6-foot-9 forward said. “So I motivated myself and I was able to get the strength back and the focus to come back and still play at a high level.”The surgery was performed in January 2012 at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio by Dr. Lars Svensson. Green said it was a pre-surgery sit-down with he, his family and Dr. Svensson that prevented family members from asking him to never play again.“He just made me feel comfortable about the whole situation,” Green said. “It is heart surgery and it is a life-threatening procedure. But at that point, there was nothing I could do.“I needed the surgery. So I just put my faith in God and my faith in the doctor that he was going to repair me to the point where I could come back and play.”Green sat out the 2011-12 campaign, came back and played 2 1/2 more seasons with Boston before being traded to Memphis midway through the 2014-15 season. In his first season back with the Celtics in 2012-13, he averaged 12.8 points. He averaged a career-high 16.9 points in 2013-14.Clippers coach Doc Rivers, the head coach in Boston when Green had his surgery, marvels at his backbone.“To still want to play after that scare is extremely courageous in basketball terms,” Rivers said. “I don’t know if I would have, honestly. Yet he still wanted to do it. The surgery alone is courageous. He has a lot to be thankful for.”Rivers thinks so much of Green, he remembers wanting to keep him in the Boston organization if he couldn’t play again.“I was more the guy that was telling him he was going to be all right,” said Rivers, whose 37-19 team hosts Denver (22-34) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. “I honestly didn’t really give him any advice about basketball. I didn’t care less at that point. I didn’t think he was going to play again, so we were going to create something in Boston for him and see if we could get him on the coaching staff, honestly.“He’s a high-character guy, so you just wanted him around the team.”Clippers forward Paul Pierce also was with Boston at the time. He, too, was amazed at Green’s wherewithal.“The good thing about that year, he stayed around the team, stayed around the game and that really kept him going,” Pierce said. “When you go through something that traumatic … I mean, that could be traumatic — having heart surgery.“But he stayed positive and he bounced his way back and he had a great year the next year and he’s continued to thrive.”Point guard Chris Paul said he’s known Green since he was at Wake Forest and Green played at Georgetown. Count him among Green’s fans.“To overcome that and to be where he is, I think, says a lot about him as a person, his maturity and his strength and fight that he has,” Paul said.Green scored 18 points Monday in his second game with the Clippers, who traded Lance Stephenson and a draft pick to Memphis for him.Green is doing what he loves, and doing it well. He loves life more, though, and the frightening ordeal put everything into perspective.“When you’re a young kid and you’re just playing, you take a lot of things for granted,” he said. “You take basketball for granted, you take family and, you know, just a lot of things for granted.“And being told that you’ve gotta have heart surgery or if you don’t, it’s possible you can die with the tissue rupturing around the heart, it really makes you rethink the whole process, your priorities.”GREEN FILEHeight: 6-foot-9Age: 29College: GeorgetownYears pro: 8Career statistics: 15.8 points, 5.5 reboundsTeams: Oklahoma City, Boston, Memphis, Clippers Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error