The silence was deafening as Chris Wilcox waited to hear word on his future.

Day after day, he sat in his North Carolina home wondering where -- and if -- he would be playing basketball this season.

The scar that ran down his chest served as a constant reminder of the hurdles he had to overcome to earn another roster spot. Yet when he looked in the mirror, he didn't recognize a heart surgery patient. He saw an NBA player who wanted to … needed to … get back on the court.

Wilcox pushed himself. Without a contract or any certainty of his career, he didn't think he had any other choice. Besides, he had been given a new lease on life and he couldn't imagine it without the NBA.

It has been almost a year since Wilcox heard the words that turned his world upside down.

Then 29 years old, he was eagerly thinking about his first playoff run. The possibility of retirement seemed years away. But during a routine doctor's visit he received earth-shattering news: He had an enlarged aorta and required a season-ending heart operation.

Within seconds, everything Wilcox had been planning for was in question. Overwhelming thoughts of uncertainty swarmed through his mind creating a haze of anxiousness, doubt, and an overwhelming sense of pressure.

Would he be able to play again? How long would his recovery last? When could he return to the court? Who would offer him a deal? What if he didn't play in the NBA this season? How could he provide for his family?

Wilcox was on a one-year contract with the Celtics. Once he had the operation, his season and place on a team would be over. He underwent surgery on March 29, 2012 at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. It wasn't long after that he began looking ahead to the upcoming season, one that he knew he wanted to be part of in the NBA.