Nazareth girls basketball coach Apache Paschall was released from New York Downtown hospital Saturday afternoon after behind diagnosed with congestive heart failure earlier last week.
“It feels good to be out,” he said. “I have a battle ahead of me, but that ain’t nothing new.”
After leaving the hospital he went directly to Nazareth to collect clothes and belongings he left at the school. He was greeted there by assistant coaches Ron Kelley and Lauren Best, who were helping at the Nazareth boys basketball team’s Tournament of Kings, and many of his players who where there watching.
“It was a relief,” Best said. “The kids miss him. We miss him. It was a relief because we didn’t expect him to be out until Wednesday or even later.”
Paschall will need to return to the hospital Wednesday to be checked out by his cardiologist and his been put on a strict diet, is being treated with medication and will have a visiting nurse checking on him during the week. He said he was told that if he follows everything he is supposed to there is a chance it could be corrected, but it will take from six to nine months to be sure. Best said she and the rest of the team’s coaches have already taken an oath not to eat unhealthy around him.
“The doctor came to see me at like 3 o’ clock and said, ‘You are doing well,’” Paschall said, adding that the doctor said: “We just got to make sure that you follow everything and try to get better.”
He missed Nazareth’s win Friday night over Mary Louis and his nationally ranked team did not show up for its game against Trenton Catholic on Saturday night at University High School’s Festival of the Phoenix event at Kean University in Union, N.J. Paschall, who was also told he has an enlarged heart, wasn’t feeling well during the Lady Kingsmen’s win over rival Christ the King on Dec. 4. He went to the hospital that night, but checked himself out the same day.
“With all the stuff I’ve been through, I always thought I was too strong to ever break down, but it ain’t like that,” Paschall said.
He traveled with the team, ranked No. 7 in the country by USA Today, over the weekend to the Breezy Bishop Showcase in Baltimore, Md., and attended his daughter Satara Gholson’s 16th birthday party in The Bronx on Monday, one of the main reasons he did not stay in the hospital. He checked himself back in the next day.
“Basketball and coaching and being around these kids, that’s my life so wondering how they were doing and them texting me and not being able to see them was a little bit difficult,” the coach said.
The time in the hospital gave him time to think. Last June, St. Michael Academy, the school he coached at for 10 years, closed its doors. Paschall and his players found a new home at Nazareth, where he is currently under investigation for alleged recruiting violations by the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Eligibility and Infractions Committee.
“I really had a time to just think and just mellow out some,” he said. “To not be so angry about the recent things that we have been going through and just reflect and thank God for life, period.”
Paschall was told to be get bed rest for the next two days, putting some uncertainty of whether he will be at Nazareth’s home game against Archbishop Molloy Monday night. He plans on resting until then and talking to his doctor before making a decision and hopes to at least able to sit on the bench.
“More than likely I will be there, unless the doctors don’t think it’s wise,” Paschall said.
His coaches don’t expect him to miss the game.
“I think he will be present in the building,” Best said. “I don’t think we will be doing too much coaching. He really should be resting. Ron and I will be doing most of the coaching, but he will definitely be at the game – if I know him.”