Hall of Fame basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian was resting comfortably Thursday at Valley Hospital as doctors were trying to determine what put the former UNLV coach there on Wednesday night.
Tarkanian, 83, was in stable condition at Valley’s intensive care unit, according to his son, Danny.
“He’s doing better today than he was yesterday,” Danny Tarkanian said. “The doctors are doing a good job of keeping us informed. But they’re still not sure what the problem is.”
At first, it was feared Tarkanian had suffered a stroke, but that was ruled out. Danny Tarkanian said his father might have pneumonia, which contributed to his condition. He said the family still was waiting to hear from doctors about other tests results.
Jerry Tarkanian attended the Final Four last weekend, and he also attended Kentucky’s closed practice Friday before the Wildcats’ semifinal game with Wisconsin at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
He also attended Saturday’s Final Four coaches’ luncheon, when the NCAA honors coaches whose teams have participated in the Final Four. Tarkanian took UNLV to the Final Four four times (1977, 1987, 1990 and 1991) and won the national championship in 1990.
According to Danny Tarkanian, his father wasn’t feeling well after the luncheon, so they watched the semifinal games from their hotel.
On Sunday, Jerry Tarkanian slept in, then returned to Las Vegas on Monday morning, which explains why he was not at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announcement for the Class of 2014. The Hall usually invites enshrinees to such functions.
Tarkanian was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in September, after a career during which he won 784 games, including 509 at UNLV.
Danny Tarkanian said his father was coughing after he returned to Las Vegas, then felt ill Wednesday evening, causing him to go to the hospital.
“I think he was tired from the trip,” Danny Tarkanian said. “But he wanted to go to the Final Four, and he was good enough to travel.”
Contact reporter Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.