A television announcer was hospitalized after experiencing a medical episode and losing consciousness before an NBA game tipped off on Monday night.
Atlanta Hawks play-by-play man Bob Rathbun, 68, was on-air with analyst and Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins when he began shaking and passed out before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Hawks Announcer Bob Rathbun suffering medical emergency. Pray for him. pic.twitter.com/PXO0ePR9Ny
— Bacon, Grits, Eggs (@reddawg77089) December 6, 2022
Rathbun is reportedly in stable condition after being treated courtside and taken to Emory Midtown Hospital. The announcer was reportedly alert when he received treatment from medical staff inside Atlanta’s State Farm Arena, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Prior to tonight’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, play-by-play announcer Bob Rathbun briefly lost consciousness on the court,” a statement from Bally Sports Southeast read. “Emergency medical professionals on-site quickly treated Rathbun for dehydration. He is stable, responsive and heading to Emory Midtown for further evaluation.”
Bally Sports sportscaster Kelly Crull expressed gratitude to viewers for their concern.
“For those watching Hawks tonight, thank you for your grace & keep prayers coming. Our partner Bob Rathbun briefly lost consciousness on the court. Emergency medical professionals quickly treated him for dehydration-he is stable, responsive & @ Emory Midtown for further evaluation,” she tweeted.
For those watching Hawks tonight, thank you for your grace & keep prayers coming. Our partner Bob Rathbun briefly lost consciousness on the court. Emergency medical professionals quickly treated him for dehydration-he is stable, responsive & @ Emory Midtown for further evaluation
— Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull) December 6, 2022
After the game, Hawks all-star guard Trae Young tweeted: “You’re in all our prayers @BobRathbunTV Speedy Recovery.”
Bally Sports South reporter Lauren Jbara substituted for Rathbun during the game.
Jbara also posted to Twitter in support of her fellow broadcaster.
“Thinking of you, @BobRathbunTV. He is incredibly talented at his job and makes it look easy. Get well soon, Bob. We are sending prayers and hugs your way,” she tweeted.
Thinking of you, @BobRathbunTV.
He is incredibly talented at his job and makes it look easy. Get well soon, Bob. We are sending prayers and hugs your way 🤍
— Lauren Jbara (@laurenjbara) December 6, 2022
The Hawks lost to the Thunder 121-114.
The last-minute fill-in is reportedly the second time Jbara has stepped to the mic as a last-minute announcer.
Quite literally the second time in a year that @laurenjbara has had to fill in on PxP within MINUTES of the game starting. Don’t know how she does it with such poise. My girl! ✨
Sending prayers to Bob Rathbun 🙏🏼 https://t.co/NV255uDS3n
— Cayleigh Griffin (@cayleighgriffin) December 6, 2022
In addition to serving as the voice of the Hawks since 1996, Rathbun is an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, motivational speaker, and author. He hosts a weekly podcast called “Fast Forward” that “interviews thought leaders from all walks of life” to help listeners with personal and professional success.
Rathbun also serves as a commentator for Atlanta’s WNBA Dream games.