DOUG Kramer is grateful to Phoenix for welcoming him to the team and making him feel part of the family outright despite being diagnosed with a heart condition recently.
The 33-year-old big man disclosed having fully disclosed to Phoenix management his health issue before being acquired by the Fuel Masters from Globalport in a trade for veteran Mick Pennisi.
And yet, Phoenix received him with open arms and was very supportive of his situation despite the player likely to miss the entire season-opening PBA Philippine Cup.
“They knew about it before they got me, everything was divulged to them,” Kramer disclosed to SPIN.ph.
“I made sure that before they got me, I told them this is what’sgonna happen. And you know what? I appreciate Phoenix a lot because they still trusted me, enough to still get me and be patient.”
The former Ateneo stalwart suffered a mild stroke during the offseason while lifting weights at home. It was later learned that he had congenital heart problem and needed to undergo procedure to close the hole in his heart.
Doctors said he’ll be out of action for three to six months.
Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia said it took management a long process before deciding to take a risk in Kramer.
Team manager Paulo Bugia did a lot of research about the matter, and even spoke to Kramer’s personal doctor.
“We also met with top cardiologists in the country and asked their opinions on the matter, that’s why we trust that Doug will fully recover,” said Vanguardia.
“It’s like one step backward, but two steps forward when the time comes that he can join us.”
More than being appreciative of Phoenix, Kramer couldn’t be gratified for the second chance given him by God to be with his family and keep playing the game he loves most.
“My initial reaction was why did this happen to me? I’m so young, I’m so healthy, I don’t have any vices,” said the 10-year veteran.
“But I said, ‘Lord thank you so much’ for protecting me from something a lot worse,’” added Kramer. “I’m so young, but at the same time, ‘thank you Lord that it happened early and that I’m ok.”
We say Amen to that.