NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York Knicks fan favorite Anthony Mason is showing improvement after suffering a heart attack earlier this month, his son Antoine told

“I actually spoke to him (Monday),” said Antoine Mason, who plays college basketball at Auburn. “He can’t talk yet, but he can hear things and respond by blinking and shaking his head and things like that. When I talked to him, my mom and him, they’re telling me he’s getting better.”

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The news has been trending positive since former New York Post columnist Peter Vecsey first reported Feb. 11 that Anthony Mason, only 48 years old, was “fighting for his life” at a New York-area hospital and would likely require a heart transplant.

His former agent, Don Cronson, told the New York Times the following day that Mason was “day to day, but that’s an improvement from moment to moment.” On Saturday, former St. John’s player Anthony Mason Jr. tweeted that his father was showing “progress.”

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“It’s tough,” Antoine Mason told “As long as he gets out of there healthy, which I can’t wait for, I’ll be happy.”

Anthony Mason was one of the key muscle men of the Pat Riley era Knicks. He averaged 7.6 points during New York’s run to Game 7 of the NBA Finals in 1994 and then won the league’s Sixth Man of the Year Award the following season. Mason said last year on WFAN radio that he had been seeking a job with the franchise.

“He was a hard-nosed player. We came to the Knicks around the same time and he fought for everything he got in this league as well as growing up,” former teammate John Starks told the New York Post. “He’s fighting right now for his life, and I believe he’s going to pull through.

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“I think I was at a game when I heard about it. It was a shock. He’s still a young man. Unfortunately these things do occur in life. There’s no rhyme or reason why it happens, but it’s something he continues to fight. His family continues to pray. We continue to pray. It’s just tough right now. Mase is the type of guy who’s going to fight every inch of the way. He’s going to pull through this.”