BREAKING NEWS: Gobbler Country is proud to be the VERY FIRST publication on the internet to report that Virginia Tech basketball player Allan Chaney has been cleared by a doctor to play collegiate basketball again. More on this developing story after the jump.
Per Chaney's personal Twitter account, he announced today with this tweet that he has been cleared to play basketball again by Philadelphia, PA cardiologist Dr. Francis E. Marchlinkski. It has not been confirmed by any Virginia Tech officials yet and is not clear if Chaney intends to play at Virginia Tech.
According to his Hokiesports profile, Allan "Will not be cleared medically to play for the Hokies." This Washington Post article also tells the story of Chaney's struggles to be medically cleared. According to the article, "Virginia Tech's medicine department announced it would NEVER allow Chaney to practice or compete with the school's basketball team." It is yet to be announced or confirmed if that decision will change.
Additionally, this FoxSports article suggests that Chaney was unhappy with the timing (approximately one week before the start of the Fall 2011 semester) of the Virginia Tech medical staff's decision to deny him medical clearance to play basketball. Chaney felt that he would have been able to be cleared elsewhere and could have found a team if he had been notified earlier. It is unclear if he is still upset over the situation as this article is nearly a year old.
In this Washington Post article from 2011, Chaney said that Seth Greenberg had become "like a father figure to me." Now with Greenberg's dismissal, it appears unclear if he has any ties to the university or the basketball program that would warrant his staying with the team should he be cleared by Tech doctors. He was close with Malcolm Delaney as the two were childhood basketball teammates and friends, but Delaney graduated in 2011 and is now playing professionally in Europe.
Chaney, a former four-star recruit, left Florida in 2009 after a spat in his freshman year with coach Billy Donovan and his subsequent suspension/sprained foot injury caused him to miss the last couple of games or so of the Gators season. It is unclear when the suspension officially started as he was receiving sporadic minutes later in the year and what role the injury played in his missing the games as opposed to the suspension. Chaney transferred to Virginia Tech at the end of the season. He redshirted while sitting out his mandated transfer year, although he was unable to practice after injuring his shoulder. He averaged 3 ppg. and 2.1 rpg. in just under 10 minutes per game his freshman year for Florida.
Virginia Tech first learned of his ailment on April 21, 2010, when during a team practice, Chaney collapsed and had to be revived by a team trainer. After initially suspecting that Chaney was out of shape or perhaps dehydrated, several cardiac tests issued the next day discovered he had Viral Myocarditis, an infection of the heart that causes inflammation. Chaney underwent surgery in 2010 for the ailment and has since received both a pacemaker and a backup pacemaker should the first one fail.
If Chaney should decide to return to the Hokies (and if the Virginia Tech doctors will allow it) he would immediately be the Hokies' most highly-touted player. It would be expected that he has suffered some decline in respect to his game after not having been on the court competitively for several years, but he is an ideal candidate to apply for extra years of eligibility, so it is not certain that he would have only one year remaining although as of last year he was scheduled to graduate in 2013. The Hokies would also be the ideal fit for Chaney who would be able to get significant minutes and likely start as the team's power forward in 2012 as the Hokies currently only have eight scholarship players (pending their lone signee sticking to his re-commitment) and only three other post players.
I definitely recommend reading the Washington Post articles about him. He is an inspiration with his perseverance and his dedication to his craft. I wish him good luck no matter where he ends up and hopefully to stay healthy for the rest of his life.