Miraculous! Player Saves Ref’s Life at Upstate NY Basketball Game
Every sports fan has seen, what they believe to be, a miracle.
It could be an individual play, it could be an entire game, and it could even be an entire series or season. Come-from-behind victories, "David-versus-Goliath" triumphs, and "down-but-not-out" turnarounds are what make sports unlike anything in the world.
That said, all of these moments are within the context of a sporting event, and aren't life-or-death circumstances for anyone involved. What we rarely see, however, is an actual life-saving miracle on a playing surface.
That happened in Jamestown, New York, last week, and is truly one of the most miraculous moments on a basketball floor you'll ever see.
Firefighter-Turned-Basketball Player Saves Ref's Life in Upstate NY
This story centers around two people. The first is John Sculli, a referee in The Basketball League, who was charged with officiating a league playoff game, between the Toledo Glass City basketball club, and the Jamestown Jackals. The game was being played at Jamestown Community College in Jamestown, NY, roughly five hours west of Albany, NY.
The other person in this story is Myles Copeland. Copeland is 25-years old, and recently played college basketball at DIII Trine University according to a story from ESPN. He's in his first season in The Basketball League, playing with Toledo.
Here's a look at Copeland during his time in college:
Because TBL does not have the funding to pay players as full-time employees, Copeland has a second career in addition to his job on the court. Copeland is a firefighter, and the skills he's learned from that line of work proved to be crucial last week.
During the game between Jamestown and Toledo, referee John Sculli lost consciousness along the sideline, and became unresponsive. Paramedics were called to the scene, but were not immediately available to assist. That's when Copeland, who was on the bench at the time, sprinted over to the scene. He began administering CPR until paramedics arrived, and ultimately, saved Sculli's life.
Inside Edition posted a story about Copeland, with video from the game and the incident, on their YouTube page:
What's even more miraculous, is that Copeland isn't with the team every time they play.
The reason for this, as explained by ESPN, is because of the schedule that firefighters typically work. You'll work a shift for 24 hours straight, then be off for 48 hours, and follow that schedule consistently. If the day of the game happened to fall on a day where Copeland was working, he would've had to miss the trip to Upstate New York.
Thankfully, that was not the case, and Sculli was able to survive the scare. He's scheduled to have heart surgery, and says he's planning on returning to reffing next season.