Basketball player Kris Wilkes suffered from a rare illness called Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) and Guillain-Barre syndrome one day before his 2019 NBA draft.
Kris Wilkes is a basketball player from Indiana. During his high school career, he played in the McDonald’s All-American Game.
He was named Indiana Mr. Basketball at the end of his high school senior year. He received his first scholarship offer from Indiana when he was only in eighth grade.
Wilkes eventually committed to UCLA and played for UCLA Bruins in the Pac-12 Conference. He was a sure pick at the 2019 NBA Draft.
His NBA dream was just a step away. However, misfortune struck him one day before his NBA draft in 2019. He couldn’t move his legs.
NBA: Kris Wilkes Illness And Health Update- What Happened To Him?
Kris Wilkes came down with fever and step throat days before his NBA selection. He returned to his childhood home in Indianapolis to rest and recover for draft night.
His fever and throat got better in a few days but he developed other disconcerting symptoms, as per The New York Times.
Sometimes, he could not feel a hand touching his arm, he could not sleep with a blanket on his legs, and often had back pains.
When he went for a check-up, he realized he had not urinated in more than a day after the doctor’s prodding. The doctor, realizing his bladder was at risk of ripping, sent him home with a catheter connected to him.
On the eve of the NBA draft, he woke up but could not move his legs. Not only that, but he also could not feel below his waistline. Panicked, he called his father who rushed to him immediately.
Kris went through multiple tests including X-rays, spinal fluid sampling, magnetic resonance imaging, and more. The doctors suspected he had acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM).
Kris Wilkes was a star at UCLA, but he never made it to the NBA. On the day of the 2019 draft, Wilkes woke up unable to feel anything below his waist.
— David Gardner (@byDavidGardner) October 23, 2021
It is an autoimmune disorder associated with inflammatory bowel diseases and viral infections like strep throat. It affects between 1 in 125,000 and 1 in 250,000 people around the world.
What’s more disconcerting was Wilkes had developed a combination of ADEM and Guillain-Barre syndrome that affected the brain, spinal cord, nerve roots, and nerves.
Some predicted he might never walk again and would have to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. But, with the support of his family, he checked out of the hospital and went home, where he began to heal little by little.
Is Kris Wilkes Married? Wife Details
No, Kris Wilkes is not married and does not have a wife. But, the 23-year-old basketball player is dating his girlfriend Lexie Stevenson.
Ms. Stevenson is active on Instagram as @lexiestevenson and has more than 17.9K followers. She was with him when he could not move his legs a day before his NBA selection.
When Wilkes started to walk again, the first he visited was Stevenson. He took a flight to Palm Springs, California to meet her and they have been supporting each other since.
Furthermore, Stevenson is an actor by profession and is on the advisory board for endofound. She is also a philanthropist and model.
Meet Kris Wilkes Family
Kris Wilkes’ family became his biggest support during the most difficult time of his life.
His father, Greg Wilkes, served in the Indianapolis Police Department for 25 years. He is trained in emergency medical response.
Ahkisha Owens, his mother, rejected the idea of her son being restricted to the wheelchair for the rest of his life. She resolved to make him walk again and believed he would get up on his own legs.
— Frankie Vision (@Frankie_Vision) May 17, 2019
What Is Kris Wilkes Net Worth?
Kris Wilkes’ verified net worth is not disclosed.
He suffered financially when he underwent treatment for his mysterious illness.
He had signed up for a school-sponsored loss-of-value insurance policy at UCLA which helped resolve his financial woes.
Although he did not get into NBA, the Knicks reserved a spot for him in a two-way contract. It would have made him a G League player.
For that, he had to go to New York for a physical. Once he was able to walk again, he flew to New York but was unable to pass the physical.
He worked at Postmates delivery for a while but left the job to launch his company, Origyn Sport.
However, he had still not let go of his dream of becoming an NBA player and is resolved to achieve his goal one day.