Former ASU player Omar Carter improving after heart attack

dscott@charlotteobserver.comJuly 11, 2013 

Former Charlotte Christian and Appalachian State player Omar Carter is improving but remains in the intensive care unit at Carolinas Medical Center after suffering what was described as a heart attack while playing basketball this week, his mother told The Observer on Thursday.

Stephanie Tyson said Carter, 25, was taken out of a medically induced coma by doctors early Thursday and is “up and good.”

She said doctors hadn’t told her how long her son would remain in the ICU but she expected him to be in the hospital for at least a week.

Carter, who played at Appalachian State for two seasons, played professionally in Brazil last year.

He was playing in a game in the Anthony Morrow Summer Hoops Pro-Am league at Charlotte’s Grady Cole Center on Tuesday when he collapsed.

“From what I’ve been told, he had run up and down the court about 10 times, and he just passed out,” said Carter’s agent, Jamie Knox.

After a standout career at Charlotte Christian, where he helped the Knights to a state title and was a teammate of NBA star Stephen Curry, Carter initially went to Charleston Southern.

He played two seasons with the Buccaneers (and was named Big South Freshman of the Year), then transferred to Appalachian State, where was all-Southern Conference.

He averaged 11.8 points in 30 games for the Brazilian team Limeira last season.

Carter had just returned to Charlotte from the Dominican Republic, where he was attending a basketball camp.

His mother said Carter has high blood pressure and might have been fatigued and dehydrated from the travel before he played Tuesday.

Among Carter’s visitors in the hospital have been Mountaineers coach Jason Capel and Morrow, a former Charlotte Latin and Georgia Tech player who recently signed with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Friday, Tyson said she also expects Gov. Pat McCrory will visit her son. As mayor of Charlotte, McCrory took a special interest in Carter and his twin brother Lamar after meeting them at a city council meeting. He became a virtual surrogate father to the boys. McCrory spoke with Tyson several times Thursday.

“Omar has a heart of gold; now he will rebuild that heart,” McCrory said.

Staff writer Jim Morrill contributed.

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