Ex-Suns star Cedric Ceballos advocates for COVID-19 vaccine after his intense hospitalization

Screengrab of Cedric Ceballos tweet

Former Phoenix Suns star Cedric Ceballos is home after he was hospitalized due to a serious battle with COVID-19 and he's now advocating for all communities to become informed about the vaccine.

"After 20 straight days on death row, through his grace and your well wishes and prayers, I AM HOME," Ceballos, 52, tweeted after his battle.

"I can not thank each and every one of you enough for your help," Ceballos wrote. "The doctors and nurses did a great job especially in my darkest days."

The retired NBA All-Star said he was dealing serious complications from the virus.

"Hello family and friends, giving a UPDATE on my health situation….. I am COVID-19 free, thank you so very much for your prayers and well wishes to help me with that. I still CAN NOT breathe, walk or function on my own yet," Ceballos wrote in a tweet.

"… so PLEASE no phone calls, it’s to much work and hard to understand me). I am out of isolation, due to not having covid, but still in ICU, I will still fight and I ask for uplifting on your end," Ceballos continued. "Continue to be nice to one another and I pray we will talk soon."

On Sept. 7, Ceballos tweeted a concerning picture of himself in a hospital with an oxygen mask over his head as he shared his bout with coronavirus.

"On my 10th day in ICU, COVID-19 is officially kicking my but, I am asking ALL family, friends, prayer warriors healers for your prayers and well wish for my recovery," he wrote.

Ceballos didn’t say how or where he could’ve gotten the illness.

Ceballos advocates for COVID-19 vaccine

Cedric Ceballos

Cedric Ceballos

Vaccine advocates recruited Ceballos to try and boost vaccine numbers for minority communities.

"Obviously for myself, it was a very traumatic and powerful impact it had on me and my family. But the most important thing about it – it wasn’t tragic," he said.

He's using his story to help the Sleeves Up AZ campaign, an initiative aimed at boosting vaccination rates for the black community.

In Arizona, under 3% of the total number of people with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is black. That’s about a third of the eligible people in the black community.

"My family is obviously grateful for me to be here and get through it. Most importantly we want to try and make awareness for other people to make sure they stay healthy, too," Ceballos said.

The campaign hopes to close the gaps in the numbers with information targeting the hardest-hit communities.

"We want to meet people where they’re at and work to identify and address the vaccine hesitancy in our community through sharing personal stories, asking questions, and providing factual information and resources," explained Sena Mohammed with Arizona Coalition for Change.

Carrer highlights

Ceballos was selected in the second round of the 1990 NBA Draft by Phoenix. He was a part of the Suns team that went up against the Chicago Bulls in the 1993 NBA Finals and lost.

He spent the rest of his career with the Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons and Miami Heat.

He averaged 14.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game during his NBA career.

In 2012, ESPN reported Ceballos had a "series of small heart attacks" during a basketball game and needed an angioplasty and stents in two blocked arteries.

FOX News' Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.

More COVID-19 in Arizona news

Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news:

Get breaking news alerts in the FREE FOX 10 News app. Download for Apple iOS or Android.