CLEVELAND (AP) — Nick Gilbert, the son of Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert who became a good-luck charm during the NBA lottery, will undergo major brain surgery this week.
A team spokesman said the 21-year-old Michigan State student will have the operation in Detroit.
Gilbert was born with neurofibromatosis, a nerve disorder that causes tumors. He has undergone previous surgeries for the genetic illness.
In 2011, the younger Gilbert endeared himself to Cavs fans when he represented the team at the draft lottery.
Cleveland won the No. 1 overall pick, which the team later used to select All-Star guard Kyrie Irving and help offset the loss of LeBron James as a free agent. Wearing a bowtie and dark-rimmed glasses at the event, the then-14-year-old Gilbert cracked “What’s not to like?” when asked how it felt that his dad considered him his “personal hero.”
Dan Gilbert, who has five children, serves on the board for the Children’s Tumor Foundation, which is trying to find a cure for his son’s condition.
Following Monday’s practice in Boston, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said players and coaches sent a video to “Gillie” to wish him well.
“We’re all praying for him and wish him the best,” Lue said. “Hate to see a young guy go through that, let alone anyone, but being so young and having that spirit that he has is great. We hope everything works out.”
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