A Toledo basketball player – who is a firefighter by day – sprang into action to perform CPR on a referee who collapsed in the middle of a playoff game.
Myles Copeland, 25, wrapped up a 24-hour shift as a firefighter in Toledo, Ohio and drove to New York on June 11 to play with his team the Toledo Glass City of The Basketball League in a playoff game against the Jamestown Jacks.
In the middle of the game, referee John Sculli collapsed onto the court and Copeland raced over to help.
‘It was kind of instinctual. It surprised me how quick I was able to switch into that mode, especially being in a basketball game,’ Copeland told ESPN on Wednesday.
‘But with being a firefighter, when you’re off the job, you’re really not off the job. You still got to keep an eye out for the community and what’s going on around you.’
Copeland performed CPR for 10 minutes on the unresponsive referee which ultimately helped save his life.
Scroll for video
The moment a Toledo basketball player – who is a firefighter by day – sprang into action to perform CPR on a referee who collapsed in the middle of a playoff game – and saved his life
Copeland told ESPN that he started administering CPR on Sculli when he didn’t feel a pulse and saw that the man wasn’t breathing.
The basketball player performed CPR for 10 minutes until paramedics arrived.
Sculli was alert and talking by the time he wheeled out on a stretcher and transported to a nearby hospital.
Sculli, who has been a referee for 40 years, is scheduled to have heart surgery this week to fix a blockage that caused him to collapse, ESPN reported.
‘It was just kind of divine timing that I was there in the right place at the right time,’ Copeland said.
Copeland and his team then went on to win the playoff game 96-93. They will play the Kokomo Bobcats on Thursday in Indiana where the Basketball League plans to honor Copeland ahead of that game.
Myles Copeland, 25, wrapped up a 24-hour shift as a firefighter in Toledo, Ohio and drove to New York on June 11 to play with his team the Toledo Glass City of The Basketball League
Referee John Sculli collapsed during the basketball game last week and Copeland, who has trained, sprang into action to perform CPR and save his life
‘A guy like this deserves to be celebrated,’ league president David Magley told ESPN. ‘Not just because he saved his life from him but the humility with which he carried himself afterwards.’
‘He’s the kind of person that’s our hero because he stepped up when he needed to and he won’t take any of the credit himself,’ he added. ‘It was just divine timing.’
Officials said that Copeland’s actions helped save Sculli’s life. Witnesses told local news outlets that it was nothing short of a miracle.
But for Copeland, he said it was just another day on the job.
Copeland played Division III college basketball at Trine University in Indiana, ESPN reported, adding that this is his first season playing with The Basketball League
Copeland has been a firefighter with the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department for about a year. I have played Division III college basketball at Trine University in Indiana, ESPN reported. This is his first season of him playing with The Basketball League.
Working 24 hour shifts as a firefighter, Copeland is only able to make it to practices and games that are on his days off.
‘It’s a common emergency and everyone should at least know their way around CPR, it can happen to anyone,’ Copeland said.
‘Ever since then, people just, like, look at me. They just have a different feeling about me, like you’re a hero,’ Copeland said.
‘It’s been said to me so much, but still it’s hard to have that click in my mind because I feel like I was just doing another deed, another thing that I was supposed to do. I didn’t feel like I went out of my way to do anything special. It’s just what I was put here to do. God was able to work through me. I feel like other people see me differently as a hero, but I don’t see myself any different.’
Copeland played Division III college basketball at Trine University in Indiana, ESPN reported, adding that this is his first season playing with The Basketball League.