Phillip Fayne's Illness Halts Career

PITTSBURGH – Duquesne University head men's basketball coach Ron Everhart announced Monday that Philip Fayne (Carbondale, Ill./Carbondale - Southwestern Illinois College), who was diagnosed with adult-onset Still's Disease in early July, will be forced to forego his senior season due to the medical condition.

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Phillip Fayne will continue taking classes and will remain on scholarship as a medical exemption.

In addition, Everhart also announced that 6-9, 240-pound forward/center Oliver Lewinson (Payson, Ariz./Payson) has signed a financial aid agreement and will be part of the men's basketball program this fall.

Lewinson is the eighth incoming freshman on the 2008-09 roster.

Fayne, who lost over 20 pounds since the conclusion of last season, was diagnosed after undergoing a number of tests in the sping and summer. The cause of Still's Disease - a form of arthritis which is rare among adults - is not known.

"Philip's health is more important than any basketball game we'll ever play," said Everhart. "He will continue to be an integral part of our basketball program even though he won't be on the court with us. Philip is one of the toughest human beings I've ever been around and I'm confident he'll use this time to fight this ailment like the warrior he is. His sole focus will be on completing his coursework and working with our medical staff to get healthy."

Fayne, a transfer from Southwestern Illinois College, played in 48 of a possible 59 games with 19 starts in two seasons at Duquesne. He was one of just four players to see action in all 29 games in 2006-07. Fayne played in 19 games last season, highlighted by his career-high three 3-pointers in an 11-point outing that was instrumental in an 83-67 win over St. Bonaventure. The Carbondale, Ill. native averaged 4.6 points in an average of 14.8 minutes per game for his career.

"It has been a great ride," said Fayne, who is 21 hours shy of completing his finance degree. "I'd like to be remembered as someone who gave it his all and represented Duquesne in a respectful manner. I know the road to recovery is going to be a long one and I'm prepared for that battle. I also know my teammates and the staff will be supporting me every step of the way. I really appreciate their concern and prayers."

Lewinson, listed as one of the Top 15 players in Arizona by Arizonapreps.com, helped lead Payson High School - which hadn't appeared in the state final four since 1979 - to back-to-back Class 3A runner-up state tournament appearances. The Arizona native averaged 11.5 points, a team-best 9.6 rebounds and blocked 23 shots for the 24-8 Longhorns as a senior. Lewinson, who scored a team-high 19 points in a 64-51 state championship loss to top-seeded and No. 1 ranked Estrella Foothills, was named to the Class 3A all-tournament team in addition to earning Arizona Republic 1A-3A all-state honorable mention.

"Oliver is a late bloomer who had a great summer with the (AAU) Arizona Magic," said Everhart. "He's a strong rebounder, runs the floor extremely well and has very good touch from the perimeter. Oliver has the potential to help us this year and he also has a tremendous upside. He is young man of very high character and is a good student. He will be a great addition to the Duquesne University basketball program."

As a junior, Lewinson averaged 16.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, shot 69 percent from the field and blocked 83 shots for 23-9 Payson. He scored 23 points in the state championship 53-41 loss to Fountain Hills.


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