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Pau Gasol follows up on girls' spinal surgery

December 5, 2010 |  3:45 pm

Lakers forward (and recently designated center) Pau Gasol had a wide smile for reasons that went beyond basketball. There were surely plenty of those, such as the Lakers' ending their four-game losing streak with a 113-80 victory Friday over the Sacramento Kings, his strained left hamstring felt tolerable enough to play and his 16-point effort on six of eight shooting, five rebounds, five assists and three blocks came in only 27 minutes.

But Gasol also appeared in an enthusiastic mood because he had a pregame reunion with Isabelle Shattuck, a teenage girl whom Gasol witnessed have extensive spinal surgery earlier this summer.

"She enjoyed it. I kept asking her if she had a good time. I think she had a good time," Gasol said. "It was really special to have her here tonight after the surgery and the experience I also had with the family."

It's come full circle for Shattuck and Gasol, whose history as a medical student sparked his interest in becoming involved at Children's Hospital on Sunset Boulevard. That resulted in him attending Shattuck's surgery even though her family knew very little about him or basketball.

Said Gasol: "It was about personal and human caring overall."

--Mark Medina

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