STrib: Gophers Jarvis Johnson, father mutually support each other through health issu

BleedGopher

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per Marcus:

As a few hundred fans gathered at DeLaSalle for the Twin Cities Pro-Am championship last August, Curtis Johnson found his favorite team warming up in its black uniforms and pulled up next to them in his wheelchair.

Players beamed as they greeted him after finishing their layups.

Few people outside family had seen Johnson in the months since a stroke and complications that followed nearly killed him. He couldn't walk or live on his own. His days were mostly spent at a rehab facility in Golden Valley, working hard to get back home.

Curtis' son knows exactly what his father is going through.

Jarvis Johnson was near death when his heart stopped for more than 10 minutes after suffering cardiac arrest in eighth grade. Then 13 years old, he recovered, had a defibrillator implanted and enjoyed a stellar prep career at DeLaSalle, becoming the first player in Minnesota boys' basketball history to start on four consecutive state championship teams.

In the face of another tragedy, Jarvis and his family have been there to help his father along the long road back to recovery — the scary moments that came immediately after, the tough times as rehab began and the brighter days now and still to come.

Jarvis' strength became his dad's strength, especially when Curtis took his first few steps using a cane last fall. When his father made progress one day with pool therapy, Jarvis caught him on camera with a big smile, flashing a peace sign. The picture wound up on Jarvis' Instagram page, with the message: "Honestly got chills after seeing my pops happy like this."

On many afternoons, Jarvis made his father's day just wheeling him around the hallways of his rehab facility, sometimes taking selfies of them. They talked about school and basketball. Curtis often proudly wore a maroon Gophers hoodie.

"You miss playing?" he would ask his son.

"For sure," Jarvis always answered.

http://www.startribune.com/gophers-recruit-jarvis-johnson-father-mutually-support-each-other-through-health-problems/411016375/

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BleedGopher

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Same article:

Jarvis' personal doctors have cleared him to play, as he did this summer in the Pro-Am. Pitino doesn't know if Jarvis will ever play for the Gophers, but he remains on scholarship and a valued member of the team.

"It was obviously very disappointing for everybody that he isn't able to play," Pitino said. "But he comes to every practice and all the meetings. He's attentive. He's not moping around. That's a tough situation to be put in. Jarvis is handling it like a pro."

Tysean played basketball at Gustavus and got his degree. Seanna's career is nearing the end with the Cyclones and she's close to graduating. Jarvis is the last of the Johnson kids yet to fulfill goals of playing college ball, after once being ranked as a top-100 prep prospect. But his mother's biggest goal for him now is to finish school.

"Does he still want to play? Yeah. Is he learning to accept it? Yes," Tanisha said. "Even though he doesn't get to play, it's not Coach Pitino's fault. When I'm there and I see how the boys treat Jarvis, how he interacts with the team and Coach Pitino — I couldn't have picked a better place for him."

The opportunity to transfer is there, but Jarvis is satisfied where he is — still a Gopher, and close to his father as they draw strength from each other.

"It wasn't what I was expecting, you know," Jarvis said. "But sometimes you get dealt a bad hand. You just got to know how to play the cards."

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macgopher

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The young man is a class act. I am somewhat surprised some other school isn't willing to let him play, I assume no one is ready to let him play or he would be gone?
 

Zeppelin Gopher

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The young man is a class act. I am somewhat surprised some other school isn't willing to let him play, I assume no one is ready to let him play or he would be gone?
Not necessarily. Jarvis really appears to enjoy being at the U and still being part of the team.
 

beavergopher

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The quote from his mom about Pitino is very heartening.
 

Oregon Gopher

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The young man is a class act. I am somewhat surprised some other school isn't willing to let him play, I assume no one is ready to let him play or he would be gone?
There are very few schools that will allow an athlete with HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) to play- especially once they've suffered a life-threatening arrhythmia.


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BleedGopher

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I just want to bump this - hopefully people have read this article from Marcus. We complain about media coverage so it is only appropriate to highlight a fantastic and thoughtfully done human interest story. Marcus knocked this out of the park. It should also be noted the comment from Jarvis' Mom about the way the staff and players treat Jarvis.

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