03/16/2011 04:14 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Kim Hughes, Former Clippers Coach, Life Saved By Players' Charity

It's not everyday that a professional basketball coach needs to be saved by the players he coaches.

But that's exactly what happened to former Clipper's coach Kim Hughes seven years ago.

The troubling story was brought to light by Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times, earlier this week. Apparently, after learning he had early prostate cancer and was in need of surgery, the Clippers left Hughes without coverage. He was an assistant coach at the time.

From the Journal Times:

But then Hughes encountered yet another major obstacle.

"I contacted the Clippers about medical coverage and they said the surgery wouldn't be covered," Hughes said. "I said, 'Are you kidding me?' And they said if they did it for one person, they'd have to do for everybody else."

When Dunleavy learned the Clippers wouldn't cover the cost of Hughes' surgery, he mentioned it to his players.

From that point some of the Clippers decided to chip in. Corey Maggette, Marko Jaric, Chris Kaman and Elton Brand were among the players that would eventually chip in to cover the cost of Hughes' over $70,000 surgery, according to Yahoo Sports.

The story never grabbed headlines after it happened because the players that helped out wished it to remain quiet. "It showed you what classy people they are. They didn't want me talking about it; they didn't want the recognition because they simply felt it was the right thing to do," Hughes told the Journal Times.

Hughes later became the Clippers interim head coach after replacing Mike Dunleavy in February 2010, but was released from his duties a little over two months later.