Pistons Scout Hanks Takes Positive Step In Battle With Coronavirus

Sam Amico

Detroit Pistons scout Maury Hanks has taken a positive step in his fight with the coronavirus, as he was taken off a ventilator and passed a breathing trial, according to Brad Botkin of CBS Sports.

"On Tuesday, Hanks was fitted with earbuds so Susan, in an effort to calm her husband, could talk to him the whole time he was coming out of sedation and trying to breathe on his own," Botkin reported. "It just might've worked. Doctors will monitor Hanks, who is still utilizing an oxygen mask, for the next 24 hours. If all goes well, he will be transferred to a COVID-19 step-down unit, likely on Wednesday."

Botkin spoke extensively with Hanks' wife and doctor for the piece.

Hanks was admitted to the intensive care unit at the University of Tennessee Medical Center on March 23. CBS reported his age as 57, conflicting an ESPN report that listed him as 62.

"Prior to Hanks passing his breathing test on Tuesday, an emergency experimental drug called lenzilumab, which is about to enter Phase III of FDA testing as a possible coronavirus treatment, had arrived at the medical center in Tennessee for potential 'compassionate use' on Maury," Botkin reported.

Prior to scouting for the Pistons, Hanks had served in a variety of capacities in basketball, including as a longtime assistant for numerous Division I programs.

The NBA suspended the season March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert became the first known player to test positive for the virus. It has not yet been determined if the season will resume.

Sam Amico covers the NBA and Cleveland Cavaliers for SI.com. Follow him @AmicoHoops.