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Former Orlando Magic forward Jeff Green dishes on his heart surgery

An enlarged heart valve nearly cost Green his life five years ago.

NBA: New York Knicks at Orlando Magic Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Say what you will about Jeff Green the basketball player—and believe me, Orlando Magic fans have—but there’s no denying he’s a terrific man who’s had to overcome a lot of adversity to get to where he is today.

In a piece, entitled “The Scar,” published Monday on The Players’ Tribune, the former Magic forward opened up about his journey to recovery. A physical he received in 2012 revealed an enlarged valve in his heart, one which could have cost him his life had it not been diagnosed.

Green discusses how he no longer recognized his body following the surgery, which robbed him of his confidence and, at one point, forced him to tears. He also explains his efforts to rehabilitate himself, and how he grew to accept that the scar which resulted from his surgery. He also says he learned, during his one-year stint in Orlando, he can now even enjoy telling the story of the scar.

Again, Green is no one’s favorite Magic player. He may not be anyone’s 50th favorite Magic player. But his story is unique and, in some ways, inspiring. And it’s worth a look, no matter your feelings about Green the player.