IOWA CITY (AP) — Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said Friday that the tumor doctors removed from his son's thyroid earlier this week was malignant.
McCaffery's son Patrick, 14, had surgery in Iowa City on Wednesday, just hours before the Hawkeyes lost to Tennessee in the First Four of the NCAA tournament in Dayton, Ohio.
McCaffery said he and his family will meet with doctors soon to determine further treatment for Patrick, who was released from the hospital on Thursday.
McCaffery isn't planning additional comment on his son's condition at this time.
McCaffery and wife Margaret have three sons and a daughter. He made headlines this week by flying from Dayton to Iowa to be with Patrick during surgery and returning to Ohio just hours before the Hawkeyes faced the Volunteers.
"Margaret and I would like to thank everyone again for the outpouring of support from across the country for our son Patrick and family this past week. We appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers," McCaffery said.
March 19: Patrick's surgery goes fine, Fran headed back
DAYTON, Ohio - Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery's plan to balance family and his professional obligations worked out just the way it was drawn up Wednesday.
McCaffery was present for the surgery of his son, Patrick, on Wednesday morning in Iowa City and made it back to Dayton in plenty of time to coach the Hawkeyes' game against Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Iowa officials said he arrived in Dayton shortly after 2 p.m. Central time, about six hours before the game.
Patrick, who turns 14 Thursday, had a tumor removed from his thyroid in the procedure at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
"Today's surgery for my son Patrick went as planned,'' McCaffery said in a statement issued by the university. "Doctors will continue tests in the coming days to determine further treatment. Patrick was in good spirits after the operation.''
Patrick's medical condition and the timing of the surgery prompted an outpouring of support from various places around the basketball world.
NBA star Chris Paul phoned the teenager on Tuesday to offer his support. Paul later tweeted about the call, saying "Plz keep my buddy Pat McCaffery in ur prayers 2nite as he undergo's surgery 2moro morning. I'm stronger today after talking to him!''
Iowa State basketball coach Fred Hoiberg also expressed his thoughts on Twitter on Wednesday: "Thinking of the McCaffery family today. Hoping and praying for the best.'' Similar sentiments came from almost every basketball program in the Big Ten.
ESPN announcer Mike Tirico tweeted: "Hoping for the most important win for the @Iowabasketball family tomorrow. Prayers to The McCaffery family and son Patrick.''
Iowa recruit Trey Dickerson made it his personal mission to get enough people to use the hashtag #TeamPat on Twitter until it trended. He succeeded.
Most of the Hawkeyes players also wrote Patrick's name on their shoes before taking the court to play Tennessee at Dayton Arena in Iowa's first NCAA tournament appearance in seven years.
"The outpouring of support and encouragement Patrick and our family have received this past week has been overwhelming,'' McCaffery said in Wednesday's statement. "Words cannot express how genuinely thankful we are to everyone who has offered their thoughts and prayers."