Lifestyle & Human Interest

Basketball Player Makes Save of a Lifetime After Performing CPR on Collapsed Referee


Myles Copeland plays minor league basketball with the Toledo Glass City basketball team. The 25-year-old is a firefighter by day, but loves to spend time on the court, too.

One of the games was scheduled for June 11 where the team was set to square off against the Jamestown Jackals.

During the game, 61-year-old John Sculli, the referee, suddenly collapsed. Though no one knew it for sure at the time, he was suffering from a heart attack.

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Copeland quickly went over to the fallen referee and went into what he called “firefighter mode,” according to Fox News.

Sculli wasn’t breathing, and he had no pulse. His wife, a nurse, was sure he was dead — she just hoped Copeland could bring him back.

For ten minutes Copeland performed CPR until paramedics arrived and took over. By the time they were there and got him onto a stretcher, the referee was conscious and joking that he could handle going back out and finishing the game.

Sculli reportedly went in for triple bypass surgery, and family told Inside Edition he’s doing well and focusing on recovery now.

But recovery might not have even been an option if it weren’t for Copeland.

“I run towards the emergencies, I don’t run away from them,” Copeland told Inside Edition.

“The basketball game just didn’t matter anymore, it was about saving his life,” he continued.

After Sculli was taken to the hospital, Copeland returned to the game — and his team won that night.

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Sculli also sent his hero a message from his hospital room.

“Myles, my heart literally goes out to you for saving my life,” he said. “You are my hero.”

As for Copeland, he’s just happy that he was able to rely on his training to save the man’s life.

“I’m very thankful I was there, and I’m sure he was thankful that I was there as well,” Copeland said. “It seemed that everyone was in a panic at the time I was there, but from all our training I was cool, calm and collected.”

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