BYU Center Richard Harward Steps Away From Basketball Due To Heart Issue

Dec 14, 2021, 1:34 PM

Richard Harward - BYU Basketball...

BYU’s Richard Harward attends practice at the Marriott Center in Provo on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball center Richard Harward announced on social media that he is officially out for the remainder of the 2021-22 season.

Before the regular season started, Harward was ruled out of the lineup due to cardiovascular issues. He appeared in an exhibition game but then left the game and was helped off the court by teammates as he left the game. Harward confirmed on his Instagram page that a heart condition is what has kept him out now and for the foreseeable future.


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A post shared by Richard Harward (@richardharward_42)

“Thank you for everything Cougar Nation! After consulting with my doctors and coaches I have decided to take a step back from basketball,” wrote Harward on his personal Instagram. “The condition affecting my heart has developed further complications. For my health and safety, it has been determined I will be out the remainder of the season. I have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of kindness and support. I am looking forward to cheering the team on to a great season! Go Cougs!”

Coming into the season, the 6-foot-11, 256-pound Harward lost weight in anticipation of being BYU’s starting center. Since transferring from BYU to UVU in 2019 to follow head coach Mark Pope, Harward has been an emotional leader for Pope’s program.

Richard Harward snapshot

Last season, Harward appeared in 27 games headlined by a 15-point, seven-rebound performance in a win over Utah.

A graduate of Orem High School, Harward is the younger brother to former BYU basketball center Ian Harward.

If Harward can return to the game of basketball eventually, he has one more year of eligibility, thanks to last year being a free year for NCAA athletes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s not known what the timetable is for Harward to return to the court.

On November 23, during a practice that the media observed at the Marriott Center, Harward, who was wearing street clothes, took two light jogs around the floor at the end of practice with his teammates cheering him on. He hasn’t had any basketball activity since being ruled out.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Center Richard Harward Steps Away From Basketball Due To Heart Issue