Former Merrimack men’s basketball coach Bert Hammel underwent heart surgery on Friday at Massachusetts General Hospital, and is currently in critical condition. Hammel’s renowned basketball camp, the ABA, sent out an email on Saturday asking for people to keep Hammel in their prayers as he recovers.
“At the request of Jill Hammel, I am making everyone aware that Bert Hammel is in critical condition at Massachusetts General Hospital after heart surgery on Friday,” the email read.
“We are all very grateful that Bert made it through the surgery and he is under exceptional care. His body is recovering and this will be a long process in which the Hammel family will need your love, support and prayers.
“Each day is critical and each moment is a blessing. The Hammel family asks for your prayers and for everyone to pass this along to anyone who knows Bert. Every prayer is critical.”
Hammel coached at Merrimack for 36 seasons, from 1980-2016.
Not only was Hammel a integral part of the Merrimack community for more than three decades, he has been a hero in the Merrimack Valley community, with his ABA camp and involvement in the Lawrence Boy’s and Girl’s club helping countless kids in the area.
Billy Robertson, operations director for the club, said in a story last year: “[Hammel] does more for people and for kids than anybody I know. He is one of my heroes.”
The news spread quickly on Friday, with just some of the many people Hammel has touched over his illustrious career sending thoughts and prayers on social media.
Please keep long time Merrimack College men's basketball coach Bert Hammel and in your thoughts and prayers this weekend. Great man! #wbz
— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) July 22, 2017
Please everyone pray for my good friend Bert Hammel who needs our help and prayers this morning. Please
— Fennis Dembo's Truth (@FennisDembo87) July 21, 2017
Thoughts and prayers go out to Bert Hammel right now. Keep fighting
— New England Storm (@NEStormBball) July 21, 2017
Mike McMahon has covered Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune since 2006 and he also has been a senior writer at College Hockey News since 2005.
You can follow Mike on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN and you can follow the site @TheMackReports.