Skip to main content

NBA player Christian Koloko reportedly dealing with career-threatening medical issue

Christian Koloko
Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Former Toronto Raptors center Christian Koloko is reportedly dealing with a blood clot issue that recently led to his release and could end his NBA career just a few years after being drafted.

Koloko, 32, was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and earned first-team All-Pac 12 honors in his final season at Arizona., The breakout year from the 7-footer resulted in him being selected with the 33rd overall pick by the Raptors in the 2022 NBA Draft.

  • Christian Koloko stats (2022-’23): 3.1 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1 BPG, 48% FG

The Cameroon native played in 58 games last season, making 19 starts for Toronto. Heading into the 2023-’24 season, he was expected to be a serviceable big man in the Raptors’ rotation. However, the team ruled him out at the start of the season due to a “respiratory issue” that has sidelined him for months.

After trading Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers, Toronto made room on its roster for its newly acquired players by releasing Koloko. He’s been referred to the NBA’s Fitness-to-Play Panel, preventing him from playing or practicing with another team.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Koloko is dealing with a blood clot issue that has threatened the remainder of his NBA career.

“There’s been no shortage of teams interested in Koloko, calling his camp ever since he was waived yesterday by the Raptors…But I’m told that the reason he had this career-threatening issue is a blood-clot situation that Christian Koloko has.”

Shams Charania on former TOronto Raptors center Christian Koloko

Toronto didn’t want to waive Koloko, believing the former second-round pick still has a very high ceiling and can function as a long-term piece for the club. However, the severity of his medical issue and the likelihood that he never plays again led to his release.

There is no timetable for a decision from the NBA’s Fitness-to-Play panel on what comes next for Koloko. While there would be significant interest in him if he were medically cleared to play, for now, a positive outcome for his NBA career seems unlikely.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: