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Announcer for Atlanta Hawks suffers apparent medical emergency during on-air segment, video shows

WGNO-TV New Orleans 12/7/2022 Nexstar Media Wire
Announcer for Atlanta Hawks suffers apparent medical emergency during on-air segment, video shows © Provided by WGNO-TV New Orleans Announcer for Atlanta Hawks suffers apparent medical emergency during on-air segment, video shows

(NEXSTAR) – The longtime announcer for the Atlanta Hawks appeared to suffer an on-air medical episode before Monday night's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Bob Rathbun, a broadcaster for the Bally Sports network and the play-by-play announcer for the Hawks since the mid-90s, was discussing Monday's matchup with former Hawks star Dominique Wilkins when he appeared to fall back in his chair and begin convulsing, as seen in an on-air clip shared widely on Twitter.

Wilkins, also a color commentator on Bally Sports, stopped mid-sentence upon seeing his colleague, the clip shows. The camera then cut away from Rathbun and Wilkins to a shot of the court at Atlanta's State Farm Arena.

Off-screen, a voice could also be heard saying, "Oh, my god!" right after the cutaway, according to one video shared on YouTube.

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Bally Sports South issued a statement shortly after the incident, confirming Rathbun was transported to a nearby hospital.

"Prior to tonight's game against Oklahoma City Thunder, play-by-play announcer Bob Rathbun briefly lost consciousness on the court," the network wrote. "Emergency medical professionals on-site treated Rathbun for dehydration. He is stable, responsive and heading to Emory Midtown for further evaluation."

On Tuesday, Bally Sports shared an update on Rathbun’s condition.

“Bally Sports play-by-play broadcaster for the Atlanta Hawks, Bob Rathbun, stayed in Emory Midtown Hospital in Atlanta overnight for observation and further tests. As of this morning, all tests were very favorable and Bob is in great spirits,” Bally Sports wrote in an emailed statement obtained by Nexstar.

“Upon completion of remaining tests, Bob plans to be released from the hospital later today. Bob's health is of the utmost concern to Bally Sports and the Atlanta Hawks and he will return to the broadcast booth only after he is well rested and fully recovered.”

Rathbun, 68, has been the “voice” of the Atlanta Hawks since 1996, Sports Illustrated reported. He is also an author and motivational speaker, according to his official website.

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The Thunder, meanwhile, beat the Hawks 121-114 on Monday night, rallying from a 14-point deficit to overtake Atlanta in the third quarter, Nexstar's KFOR reported.

The Hawks are next scheduled to play the Knicks on Wednesday.

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