Erik Spoelstra’s wife shares inspiring progress after revealing that their son was battling cancer during 2021-22 season

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Nikki Spoelstra, the wife of Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, is offering an inspiring update on the couple’s four-year-old son Santiago, who was first diagnosed with cancer during the Heat’s 2021-22 season.


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A post shared by Nikki Sapp Spoelstra (@nikkisappspo)

Back in March, Santiago Spoelstra underwent what was described at the time only as a medical procedure. His father missed one game because of that issue.

The serious nature of Burkitt lymphoma required quick efforts on the part of the medical staff that was treating Santiago Spoelstra, That’s because it’s a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that begins in the immune cells and can spread rapidly.

Despite the uncertainty of his son’s situation and the chemotherapy that was required to bring the disease into remission, Erik Spoelstra continued to coach the team, though he offered no insight on what he and his wife were enduring.

In retrospect, that makes Erik Spoelstra’s efforts to coach the Heat into their second finals in the past three seasons a remarkable accomplishment. The Heat fell in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals last season to the Boston Celtics, who subsequently lost in the finals to the Golden State Warriors.

Of course, Nikki Spoelstra was also enduring her own pain and was forced to do it as she carried the couple’s third child, That pending arrival was announced by her last month, with the baby, a girl, due this fall.

Santiago Spoelstra and his younger brother Dante will be ready to welcome their new sister when she arrives. The hope is that some point in the future that his medical issues will be a thing of the past,

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.