Players Foot Bill For Former Clippers Coach’s Life-Saving Surgery

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(credit:  P.A. Molumby/NBAE via Getty Images)

(credit: P.A. Molumby/NBAE via Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A former Los Angeles Clippers coach owes his life in part to four current and former Clipper players.

Kim Hughes was working as an assistant coach for the Clippers seven years ago when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to the Racine, Wis. Journal Times. But when his Clippers’ medical coverage would not pay for the life-saving surgery, a few players stepped up — big time.

After hearing about Hughes’ situation from then-Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy, Corey Maggette, Marko Jaric, Chris Kaman and Elton Brand decided to take the ball into their own hands and paid for the surgery themselves. The surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center cost something like $70,000, Hughes told the newspaper.

Maggette, who now plays for the Milwaukee Bucks, told the Journal Times that he counted Kim as a good friend.

“He was in a situation where the Clippers’ medical coverage wouldn’t cover his surgery. I thought it was a great opportunity to help someone in need, to do something that Christ would do,” Maggette told the newspaper.

Jaric is now a part of the Memphis Grizzlies and Elton Brand a Philadelphia 76er. Kaman is the only part of the life-saving quartet who remains with the Clippers, but to Kim, it doesn’t matter.

Hughes told the newspaper he thanks each of them from the bottom of his heart anytime he runs into them.

“You can have all the money, all the success, all that stuff, all those so-called important things in life, but in the end, you’re judged by what you did for your fellow man,” Hughes told the Journal Times. “What [they] did for me put things in perspective.”

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