Video Shows Basketball Player Saving Life Of Referee Who Collapsed Mid-Game

By Jason Hall

June 16, 2022

Classic Basketball on Wooden Court Floor Close Up with Blurred Arena in Background. Orange Ball on a Hardwood Basketball Court
Photo: Getty Images

A basketball player heroically saved the life of a referee who collapsed midway through a game.

Video shared by WTOL showed Myles Copeland, a firefighter who also plays for Toledo Glass City of The Basketball League, perform CPR on referee John Sculli, who passed out on the court and became unresponsive during Toledo's playoff game against the Jamestown Jackals last Saturday (June 10).

Copeland told ESPN during a phone interview on Wednesday (June 15) that he checked Sculli's vitals but couldn't feel a pulse or see him breathing, so he administered CPR until paramedics were present at the scene.

"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 said. "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's quick response is being credited for helping save Sculli's life. The referee is scheduled to undergo a heart procedure to fix a blockage that caused him to lose consciousness and is expected to return to officiating next season, ESPN reports.

Toledo went on to win Saturday's and Sunday's (June 11) games to advance to the conference semifinals of The Basketball League playoffs and are scheduled to face the Kokomo Bobcats in Indiana on Thursday (June 16).

The league has also planned to honor Copeland for his heroic efforts ahead of Thursday's game.

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