At age 28, Hawks center Jason Collier (above). The five-year NBA veteran was stricken with breathing trouble while sleeping at his Atlanta home early last Saturday morning. Collier's father, Jeff, said his daughter-in-law, Katie, performed CPR before paramedics arrived and that Collier died while being rushed by ambulance to the hospital. Autopsy results were unavailable as of Monday--they were being held until after his funeral on Wednesday--but early reports were that cardiac arrest may have been the cause of death. Collier's agent, Richard Howell, said the 7-foot, 270-pound graduate of Georgia Tech had no known health issues aside from achy knees. According to the Hawks, Collier, a part-time player who averaged 5.7 points and 2.6 rebounds last season, passed a preseason physical without difficulty.
To play eight months after he was felled by a mild stroke, Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi. Last March, Bruschi, 32, who suffered the stroke 10 days after the Patriots won the Super Bowl, underwent surgery to repair a small hole in his heart that, he says, was the cause of the episode. Last month he told The Boston Globe that he wouldn't play this season because, "There's a difference between living life normally and ... getting ready for a professional football season." But he soon changed his mind, and on Sunday team doctors gave him clearance. He was expected to practice on Wednesday, and he could be in the lineup for New England's next game, at home against the Bills on Oct. 30. "Things change," Bruschi told The Globe last week. "What I said [about sitting out the season] at the time was 100 percent accurate."
By the Athletics, manager Ken Macha, who had announced he was leaving the team after three years in charge. Under Macha, 55, who took over when Art Howe left to manage the Mets in 2003, Oakland missed the playoffs in '04 and '05 despite winning 91 and 88 games. After the season Macha and G.M. Billy Beane worked on a new deal, but on Oct. 5 they announced they couldn't come to terms. Macha was immediately linked with the Pirates' vacancy, since filled by former Dodgers skipper Jim Tracy, and Beane interviewed several candidates. Macha called Beane after Tracy got the Pittsburgh job, and last Friday the sides agreed on a three-year, $3 million deal. "When I woke up this morning and checked the news, I was surprised," said Oakland closer Huston Street. "A good surprised."
Of liver cancer at age 75, Angelo Argea, who caddied for Jack Nicklaus for two decades. Argea (above, left) was one of golf's first recognizable loopers, partly because he worked for the game's biggest star and partly because of his silvery Afro. He and Nicklaus first hooked up at the Palm Springs Classic in 1963. Nicklaus won and then won four times in his next five tournaments with the former Las Vegas cab driver on his bag, where he stayed for the next 18 years. "You have to get along with the guy," Nicklaus said in '99, when Argea was inducted into the Worldwide Caddie Hall of Fame. "I could always kid Angelo, and at times he would give me a hard time back."
At age 85, equestrian artist Richard Stone Reeves, who committed to canvas more than 1,000 thoroughbreds over the last half century. After graduating from Syracuse with an art degree, Reeves began painting neo-Romantic horse portraits in the late 1940s; his career took off when his rendering of '47 horse of the year Armed appeared in Life magazine. Reeves received commissions from leading owners and breeders from around the world, and his catalog includes paintings of Secretariat (above), Seattle Slew and Northern Dancer, as well as many top jockeys. "People simply like my style," he once said. "I manage to show each horse's individual personality."