Saginaw Valley State University is mourning the loss of its men’s basketball assistant coach.
Kalen Foreman, 25, died from an apparent heart attack early Thursday morning, SVSU said in a press release.
Men’s head basketball coach, Randy Baruth, told TV5 he was driving back from a recruiting trip in Ohio with Foreman when the assistant coach said he didn’t feel good, and then said something was wrong. Baruth called 911.
"Considering you're out in the middle of the interstate and you don't know any mile markers to get people there or give them anything, they tracked us down pretty quick," Baruth said.
Baruth said first responders took Foreman to Lima Memorial Hospital. He was then transferred to the Ohio State University Medical Clinic. At that point, Baruth and Foreman's family - who is from the Detroit area - were together.
"Got there and we're all waiting and just kind of waiting to see how surgery was going to go and I don't know what happened. They did not come in with the answers that we were anticipating," Baruth said.
The sudden loss sent shockwaves through the basketball team and the entire Cardinal family.
"I can't imagine what they're thinking about right now. I just really feel for our guys. I really do," Baruth said.
Foreman had been with the university’s basketball program for the past six seasons, both as a player and assistant coach.
“His career was going to be… I can’t even… I can’t even think of all the opportunities he was going to have with the talents that he had as a person. I just can’t even think of them,” Baruth said.
Foreman was the assistant coach for the last three seasons, in which the team’s record was 54-36. They also claimed the 2015-2016 GLIAC Championship during that time.
"Kalen contributed a great deal to SVSU during his time as a student, player and coach," SVSU President Donald Bachand said. "It was evident that he was well-liked on campus, and he could usually be found with a smile on his face. He will be missed. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends."
Baruth was quick to point out no one is suffering more than Foreman's mother. He said he plans to head south to Detroit and spend the rest of the day with her.
"What we're going through pales in comparison to what his mom is doing right now. And we're going to go see her this afternoon. And I'm really looking forward to that visit with her. And yeah, I'm just really looking forward to seeing her again," Baruth said.
There will be public visitation from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Heard and Taylor Funeral Home, 1540 W. Grand Blvd. in Detroit, on Friday, April 27. Foreman's funeral is at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 28 at the Greater Emmanuel Institutional COGIC, 19190 Schaefer Hwy. in Detroit.
How could this happen?
"Sudden cardiac death or sudden death anytime is a sad event," aid Dr. Rao Gudipati, cardiologist for the Michigan Cardiovascular Institute in Saginaw.
Gudipati said Foreman's shocking death isn't as unusual as you might think.
"It's amazing how early the atherosclerotic process, hardening of the arteries, start in life," Gudipati said.
He said the blockage of arteries can start at a young age even if you are in shape.
"When they do the autopsy studies on GIs who died at a young age, 20, 25-years-of-age, 13 percent of them already have atherosclerotic blocks in their coronary arteries," Gudipati said.
He thinks young people should use this moment as an opportunity to get the proper tests, even if the fear of having a heart attack seems decades away.
"Young athletes who are 17-years-old, especially if they have a family history of fainting, they should be screened before they play in competitive sports," Gudipati said.
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