Shooting Hoops and Shooting Insulin

by Mark Benson on October 14, 2011

Adam Morrison's Basketball and Diabetes

Touted as the next coming of Larry Bird, Adam Morrison was the leading scorer for Gonzaga University and one of the top collegiate players back in 2006. He won many major basketball awards, such as Co-Player of the Year from the US Basketball Writers Association as well as the 2006 Chevrolet Player of the Year.

He is not only a dead shot on the floor, he is also responsible for shooting insulin into his body as he is a Type 1 diabetic. Morrison was diagnosed back in eighth grade after attending basketball camp at his future alma mater. He lost thirty pounds and could not make the normal plays and shots because he felt sick. After a routine check-up, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  He took it well and learned how to shoot insulin into his system right away.

Type 1 diabetes is a hereditary condition where the body does not produce insulin or rejects the produced insulin. As a result, the body’s blood glucose could not be metabolized by its cells leading to many complications. To compensate, Type 1 diabetics need to ingest artificial insulin throughout their lives to keep blood sugar levels in check and prevent the complications from diabetes from developing.

Despite the condition, Morrison broke single season and career scoring records in high school. In their only loss in his senior season, he played despite having symptoms of hypoglycemia and scored 37 points. After graduation, he chose to play at Gonzaga University. In each of his three years, he averaged 11.4 ppg, 19.0 ppg and 28.1 ppg. He was acclaimed as the nation’s leading scorer in 2005-2006.

His exploits helped his Bulldogs into the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen and after he led Gonzaga from a seventeen-point deficit only to lose the game to UCLA. He broke down in tears and collapsed to the court, later to be helped to his feet by opposing players. This was his last collegiate game and turned pro the following year.

His professional career was not too spectacular after being picked third overall by the Charlotte Bobcats. In his first game in a Bobcat uniform, he scored 14 points, had three rebounds and a couple of assists. His career high was thirty points in a win against the Indiana Pacers. In October 2007, the Bobcats organization announced that Morrison had sustained an injury to his left knee during a pre-season exhibition game. His ACL injury caused him to miss the full 2007 to 2008 season.

Morrison eventually found himself in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform in 2009, where he won NBA championships in 2009 and 2010. He played sporadically though during these championship years and was eventually released in 2010. He tried to make the Washington Wizards team but was cut prior to the season. He is currently playing in Russia for KK Crvena zvezda.

Morrison manages his diabetes with a strict regimen of eating exactly the same meals at the same time during game days. He also shoots his insulin regularly and when off the court, he regulates his blood sugar levels through an insulin pump attached to his abdomen.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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