Glen Gondrezick, a former UNLV basketball star and the color commentator on the Rebels’ radio broadcasts for the past 16 years, underwent a successful heart transplant operation today at UCLA Medical Center.
“At this point, everything is going great,” said Tammy Wadkins, Gondrezick’s girlfriend. “The doctor just called. The heart is good and they are stitching him up.”
Wadkins said her parents drove Gondrezick from Las Vegas to Los Angeles at 3 a.m., and Gondrezick went in for surgery at about 10:30. Gondrezick was being moved into intensive care this afternoon, Wadkins said, and he will be on a ventilator for two to three days.
Gondrezick, 53, has suffered from congenital heart disease, and his heart was pumping at about only 9 percent of capacity. He waited 174 days on the donor list. He also checked into UCLA Medical Center on April 30 for surgery, but was informed the heart was unacceptable for a transplant because of an arrhythmia. The operation was canceled.
Gondrezick led UNLV to its first Final Four appearance in 1977. His jersey No. 25 was retired in 1997 and hangs in the Thomas & Mack Center rafters. After his college career, Gondrezick played six seasons in the NBA, four with the Denver Nuggets and two with the New York Knicks.