Former DePaul star Mark Aguirre hospitalized

Former DePaul great Mark Aguirre was hospitalized Wednesday, March 23, when he collapsed while working out at a fitness center near Plano, Texas, according to ESPN Dallas.The 51-year-old Aguirre, who helped DePaul get to the Final Four in his freshman season in 1979, suffered a “clogged vessel” according to former Dallas Mavericks general manager Frank Zaccanelli. His family said he is “in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.”

Aguirre’s family later released a statement saying, “Mark suffered a fall while working out today at a local gym. He has been admitted to The Medical Center of Plano and is not being treated for a heart attack. He is listed in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery. The Aguirre family would like to thank all those who have expressed their concern about Mark’s condition. In order to expedite Mark’s recovery, the family respectfully asks that their request for privacy be honored.”

DePaul Athletics Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto said, “I spoke with Mark’s wife, Angela, this morning and we’re glad to hear that Mark didn’t have a heart attack yesterday and is expected to make a full recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mark and his family right now.”

In three seasons with the Blue Demons, Aguirre averaged 24.5 points per game and was named The Sporting News College Player of the Year for the 1980 season. He was also the Naismith College Player of the Year, Adolph Rupp Trophy winner, USBWA Player of the Year, AP Player of the Year and UPI Player of the Year in 1980. Aguirre was also a two-time NCAA All-American First Team selection in 1980 and 1981.

Aguirre was the first overall draft pick for the Dallas Mavericks in 1981 and still holds the franchise single-season scoring record for the 1983-1984 season, when he averaged 29.5 points per game for a total of 2,330 points. In the 1987-1988 season, he led the Mav’s to their first-ever Western Conference Finals, where they lost in 7 games to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Aguirre was traded to the Detroit Pistons midway through 1988-1989 season. He won the NBA Championship with the Pistons in both the 1989 and 1990 seasons, and was an NBA all-star in 1984, 1987, and 1988. He later served as an assistant coach for the Pistons and New York Knicks.

Aguirre, who is expected to make a full recovery, expressed interest in becoming the men’s head basketball coach last year before the job was eventually given to Oliver Purnell.