They say not all heroes wear capes; however, one in basketball shorts is probably the last thing you’d expect. But for Toledo Glass City basketball player Myles Copeland, no matter what he’s wearing, he’s always prepared to take action in an emergency. “It’s what they train you for—to run towards the emergency. Don’t run away from it,” Copeland shares, referring to his training for his day job as a firefighter. And that’s exactly what the minor league basketball player did when a referee suddenly collapsed from a heart attack mid-game at an out-of-state match.
The entire audience was in shock when 61-year-old John Sculli fell to the ground, but Copeland immediately jumped into action and began performing CPR on the unconscious ref. And it’s the player's quick reaction time that ultimately saved Sculli’s life. “I worked on him for about 10 minutes before the paramedics were able to get there,” Copeland explains. And by the time help arrived, the trained first responder had already helped the referee regain consciousness. Sculli was even joking that he was going to head back in and finish reffing the game.
After Copeland’s life-saving efforts, Sculli was able to receive triple bypass surgery to remove the blockage that caused his heart attack. And now his future is looking very bright as he continues on the road to recovery. Hopefully, he will be out there reffing more games very soon—all thanks to his hero in basketball shorts.
Not only did Copeland save a man’s life that night, but he even went on to help his team win the game. But no matter what his performance as a player, Copeland will always be Sculli’s MVP. “Miles, my heart literally goes out to you for saving my life,” Sculli later shared from his hospital bed. “You are my hero.”
Toledo Glass City basketball player Myles Copeland saved a ref's life after the man collapsed from a heart attack.