It has taken 28 months, but former Virginia Techmen's basketball player Allan Chaney is finally poised to suit up for another Division I basketball program.
The Baltimore native, who learned last August he would never be able to play for the Hokies because of concerns surrounding a heart condition, has committed to play for High Point University in North Carolina.
"I appreciate everyone that has helped me through this process and I am hyped to play at High Point," Chaney wrote The Baltimore Sun in an e-mail this morning. "The coaches on the team are just as happy as I am about me coming to HPU."
After transferring from Florida to Virginia Tech in May 2009, Chaney collapsed during an offseason workout in Blacksburg, Va., in April 2010. Doctors soon determined he had a severe case of viral myocarditis, a potentially fatal infection of the heart that causes inflammation.
Last November, just three months after Virginia Tech's sports medicine department announced it would never be able to medically clear Chaney, the 6-foot-9 power forward had a back-up defibrillator installed in his chest to offset the chance of irregular heartbeats. The device has no cords, and Chaney said he hardly notices it.
After undergoing a series of tests with a University of Pennsylvania cardiologist, Chaney was granted clearance in May to resume his basketball career.
Now, he hopes to become the only Division I basketball player to play next season with a defibrillator in his chest. He will have one guaranteed year of eligibility, and plans to apply for a medical redshirt to gain a second.
Since Chaney graduated from Virginia Tech last month with a degree in apparel, housing and resource management, he is eligible to play for the Panthers this season. He will join a High Point squad that finished 8-10 in the Big South Conference last year, and returns a lean frontcourt. Chaney will be the fifth local player on the Panthers' roster, joining freshman forward Cliff Cornish (North County), sophomore guard Devante Wallace, sophomore guard Tre Duncan (Millersville native) and junior guard Derrell Edwards (Dunbar).
"I have been working out this whole summer and playing basketball with no problems," wrote Chaney, who sifted through more than a half dozen mid-major scholarship offers before choosing High Point. "I took all the correct steps to getting back to playing and I have great doctors that are very hands on. The defibrillator is just for insurance."
Check The Baltimore Sun in the coming weeks for a full feature story on Chaney.