East Texas basketball coach says near-death experience was terri - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

East Texas basketball coach says near-death experience was terrifying

Ernest Acosta says he still needs to heal but is feeling better (Source: KTRE Staff) Ernest Acosta says he still needs to heal but is feeling better (Source: KTRE Staff)
Ernest recruits players from all over East Texas for his team (Source: KTRE Staff) Ernest recruits players from all over East Texas for his team (Source: KTRE Staff)
POLLOK, TX (KTRE) -

Near death experiences have become a primary focus of our survivor's franchise, but for one East Texas man, he says the thought of death was immobilizing.

The coach of a select basketball team called the East Texas Blaze, Ernest Acosta says he thought he had it all; a healthy lifestyle, a great job, a wife and kids until one night, he found himself doubled over in pain, shrieking for help.

"The pain just got me. I mean, it was so severe. I couldn't walk, couldn't stand—it just had me buckled over," Acosta said. "I just knew it. I was hurting from probably my chest all the way down to my knees. The pain scale was probably an 18 on a scale from 1 to 10. It was just that bad."

For years, Acosta said he has been going to East Texas towns and recruiting kids for his team. He never thought that he wouldn't ever be able to return to the basketball court, but when he was told he had Diverticulitis, an inflammation in the intestines, he was shocked. He said the doctor told his wife that he could've died.

"It kind of floored me. Like I said, I knew pretty much for a good while that I kind of had you know, you get stomach cramps and all that stuff," Acosta said.

He was shocked. He said the doctor told his wife that he could've died.

But the worst part was that Acosta was expecting to be a father in a just a matter of days. Not being there for his kids, he says, is scary.

"It brings a whole different mentality to having a child and having a family because we've been married just a year. God blessed me with her and my daughter—her daughter—and having a son now. Every thing's just complete so hopefully I'm healthy enough to get back going," Acosta said.

Acosta says he still hasn't healed and he doesn't feel good every day. But he's happy to be back on the court helping out the kids.

"What we try to do is help these kids go out and we compete in these big tournaments to get them nationally recognized. We want to get them, hopefully get them—Duke, Kentucky, Kansas to come to East Texas and say ‘hey, this is a talent pool,'" Acosta said.

Despite not being completely on his "A" game, Acosta says he is just happy to be alive.

"It's pretty amazing. It's an amazing feeling watching these kids play and come together as a group and becoming a big family," Acosta said.

Acosta is always looking for new players and volunteers to help out with his team. If anyone is interested, he can be reached at E0939acosta@live.com.

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