- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 13, 2009

HARTFORD, CONN. (AP) - Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun was hospitalized Saturday after he collapsed following a 50-mile charity bicycle ride during which he fell and broke five ribs.

Calhoun, 67, was taken to the UConn Health Center in Farmington, where he was listed in good condition. He was to be held overnight for observation and released Sunday, said Maureen McGuire, a hospital spokeswoman.

McGuire said Calhoun told her he hit a pothole and fell with about 16 miles to go in the ride, which began and ended in Simsbury, winding its way through northwestern Connecticut and part of southwest Massachusetts.

“He got back on the bike and finished the ride,” she said. “Obviously, he’s in extremely good physical shape. It was after he finished the ride, he was talking to some people and he did faint.”

At the hospital, the Hall-of-Famer was told he had broken ribs during the fall.

Team spokesman Kyle Muncy said heat and dehydration contributed to the collapse, but said there were no other health concerns.

The Hartford Courant reported online that Calhoun was leaning against a car parked near the finish line at the Simsbury Performing Arts Center, when he slumped and fell to the ground as two friends reached for him.

The newspaper reported that Calhoun lay motionless and expressionless as his son Jeff and daughter-in-law Amy took off his shoes and socks and poured water on his forehead. By the time an ambulance arrived a few minutes later, he was conscious and sitting up, the newspaper reported.

He had to be talked out of driving by family and friends, including Boston Celtics star Ray Allen, who played under Calhoun at Connecticut.

“He’s so stubborn, so stubborn,” Allen told the Courant. “He doesn’t want people to help him out. He’s always been the type who feels he’s invincible. I think we’ve all been there.”

The annual Jim Calhoun Cancer Challenge Ride includes rides of 10, 25 and 50 miles. Organizers say it has raised almost $500,000 to benefit the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center and Coaches vs. Cancer, a program established in 1993 by the American Cancer Society.

Calhoun is a three-time cancer survivor. A year ago, he underwent surgery and radiation treatments for squamous cell cancer, a type of skin cancer.

Calhoun, who has led Connecticut to three Final Fours and national titles in 1999 and 2004, missed the Huskies’ first NCAA tournament game in March after being hospitalized for dehydration. Connecticut lost to Michigan State in the national semifinals.

Calhoun, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005, has a career record of 805-342, good enough for sixth place on the NCAA Division I career wins list. He is 557-205 at Connecticut.

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