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Wake Forest hoops coach Steve Forbes to remain with team as wife recovers from stroke

Forbes is preparing to begin his fourth season at Wake Forest this fall

Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes said Monday that his wife, Johnetta, is making great progress and is on track to head home from a facility in Atlanta in the coming weeks after her stroke last month.
Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes said Monday that his wife, Johnetta, is making great progress and is on track to head home from a facility in Atlanta in the coming weeks after her stroke last month. (AP/Rebecca Blackwell)

Wake Forest men's basketball coach Steve Forbes confirmed Monday, nearly a full month after his wife had a stroke, that he plans to lead the Demon Deacons this fall.

Steve’s wife, Johnetta Forbes, sustained the stroke Aug. 8 and is receiving treatment at a rehabilitation facility in Atlanta. Steve said his wife is regaining movement on her left side, didn’t suffer any memory damage and is making “incremental” progress.

Johnetta is determined to walk when she leaves the facility later this month, he said. He shared posts on social media of her working toward that goal recently, too.

With the progress she’s making, Steve said he plans to be with Wake Forest during preseason practices, workouts and more as scheduled this fall.

"As far as stepping away, no,” Steve said, via The Associated Press. “First of all, I don't think that's what my wife would want. I don't think that would help her recover. I think she needs me to be doing what I'm doing. So we just had to work it out, a plan."

Johnetta was with their three children in Destin, Florida, last month when she had a stroke. Steve was in Kuwait at the time working with the basketball outreach program Operation Hardwood.

Thankfully, Steve said, their kids were there to take her to the hospital.

“She goes down [to Destin] a lot by herself,” Steve said, via The Associated Press. “And I have a bad feeling that if she’d have been by herself, she might’ve just went back to bed.”

Steve said he plans to split his time between Atlanta and Winston-Salem, North Carolina, until Johnetta returns to their home near campus.

“It has never really crossed my mind,” Steve said of taking a leave of absence, via The Associated Press. “Now, that’s after seeing her progress, right? Had she not, then maybe we’d be having a different conversation.”

Steve is preparing to begin his fourth season at Wake Forest this fall. The team went 19-14 last season. The Deacons will start practice officially Sept. 25, three days after Johnetta is set to go home, and they’ll open the season Nov. 6.