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Jayden Hardaway Pushes Through When Exercise-Induced Asthma Crops Up

Posted on Dec 12, 2017

Jayden Hardaway during a pulmonary stress test

Jayden Hardaway is used to having coaches shouting in his ear. Sometimes the coach has been his father, Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, the former NBA star who now coaches high school basketball in Memphis, Tennessee.

But on this day, the coaching sounds the same, but the mission is different.

“Blast! Push! Push! Push! Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!” shouts Mike Lindsay, a respiratory therapist at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Lindsay is coaching the younger Hardaway through a pulmonary stress test, which measures how much air moves in and out of your lungs when you exercise.

“We’re going to run him hard,” Lindsay says of the treadmill test that had Hardaway running at about 8-10 mph.

Hardaway, 18, graduated last spring from Memphis East High School, where his dad coaches. Penny Hardaway played six of his 14 NBA seasons with the Orlando Magic and finished his career with the Miami Heat. Jayden now plays on a post-graduate team at IMG Academy in Bradenton and is exploring college options.

Doctors diagnosed the younger Hardaway (6 feet 4, 180 pounds) with exercise-induced asthma when he was 14. He works with a doctor in Miami who arranged for Lindsay to conduct the stress test because Johns Hopkins All Children’s is close to Bradenton and provides exclusive medical services at the academy.

Hardaway says the occasional asthma attacks usually occur when he runs a lot in a game or practice, but he says he usually recovers quickly.

“Mom said it was like I was stuck in quick-sand,” he says. “When my second-wind comes, I can sustain it a long time.”

The condition flared up recently when IMG played a game in a dusty gym on a cold day in Connecticut and he had to sit out for part of the game. Hardaway says he has used an inhaler before games for about four years and generally that helps manage his asthma.

“I recover really fast,” he says. “There just aren’t a lot of points when you can recover in a game.”

Lindsay is no stranger to exercised induced asthma himself. He found out while playing football at Texas Tech University he was susceptible to exercised induced asthma and developed a "dry cough" when playing in cold weather.

Because of Hardaway's athletic background, Lindsay kept him on the treadmill about a minute longer than the average test. Still, Hardaway recovered quickly and was relieved that Lindsay said the test went well.

“I think he could have run harder,” Lindsay says. “This didn’t show any problems for him.”

To schedule an asthma consultation with Johns Hopkins All Children’s, call 727-767-7337.

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