Tark out of intensive care, ponders Final Four invite

Jerry Tarkanian was moved out of intensive care at MountainView Hospital on Friday, and the former UNLV basketball coach might be on his way to New Orleans for the Final Four.

After suffering a mild heart attack Tuesday, Tarkanian, 81, received two calls this week from Kentucky coach John Calipari.

“Calipari said if they win their next two games, he would like him to come to the Final Four,” son Danny Tarkanian said. “My dad said he would like to go. I don’t know if he’s dreaming, but it would be great if he could.”

Calipari extended the invitation Thursday, a day before the top-seeded Wildcats defeated Indiana 102-90 in a South Region semifinal game at Atlanta. Kentucky faces Baylor on Sunday.

“It was great that Calipari would make that offer to him,” Danny Tarkanian said. “Isn’t that wonderful? I’m going to be a Kentucky fan now.”

On Friday, Jerry Tarkanian was moved to a regular room at MountainView. Danny Tarkanian said the cause of his dad’s breathing problems was discovered, and doctors said the issue won’t require surgery. “They feel he’s at least out of immediate risk,” Danny said.

Contact reporter Matt Youmans at myoumans@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2907.

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