Pau Gasol has long been known for his humanitarian efforts as well as his basketball career. While off-season trade rumors run rampant, the Lakers (for now) player was recently seen doing something that has nothing to do with basketball: observing a spinal cord surgery at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles.
The L.A. Times reports that Gasol was able to observe surgery done on 15-year-old Joshua Sandoval, who suffers from scoliosis, listening eargerly as Dr. David Skaggs explained how ha, along with his operating assistants, would be inserting metal rods and screws into Sandoval’s back.
The NBA player, who attended the University of Barcelona for medical school, stated afterward:
“I loved it. I loved every second of it and everything that is going on here.”
Yahoo News reports that, following the surgery, Dr. Skaggs said of Pau Gasol, who recently won the NBA’s 2011-12 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award:
“So many people around the hospital see so many celebrities come and go. He’s the one that comes back over and over and over.”
The Lakers player also took time to say hello to Isabelle Shattuck, whose spinal surgery he observed two years ago. Shattuck’s mother, Aracely Gomez, told The L.A. Times that:
“I’m more honored that even though he’s a famous person, that he still has that feeling and sensibility in going into seeing these operations performed on small children and giving them a little bit of courage. It’s really wonderful that he does that. Bless his soul for doing all this charity work.”
No matter where Pau Gasol ends up for the upcoming season, the team he goes to will be getting a good basketball player, and also a humanitarian.
See video of Pau Gasol observing the spinal surgery below (warning: graphic images):