A firefighter who saved the life of an honored referee during a basketball game


In basketball parlance, 25-year-old Myles Copeland has delivered the biggest assist of his career.

KOKOMO, Ind. – If life is like a basketball game, 25-year-old Myles Copeland has just delivered the biggest assist of his career.

“That’s what they train you for, run to the emergency, don’t run from it,” Copeland said of his work.

Video captured at a basketball game last weekend in upstate New York shows Copeland doing exactly what he was trained to do as a firefighter with the service. fire in Toledo, Ohio.

Except in the video, Copeland was not in a firefighter’s uniform when an emergency struck unexpectedly. He wore the uniform he wears as a forward for the Toledo Glass City basketball team.

Copeland and his team were in a playoff game against the Jamestown Jackals when a referee collapsed with a heart attack late in the first quarter.

“I saw him fall and I think the whole gym heard him hit the ground, so everyone was kind of in shock,” Copeland said.

But not Copeland. He ran across the field.

“In my mind, I just go into firefighter mode,” he said.

“I was sitting right there when it happened,” said basketball league president David Magley. He called 911.

“I’m going, ‘He’s dying,'” Magley said of the referee on the floor. “In my mind, he’s gone. No breath, no blood pressure. I don’t know CPR. I hope someone will.”

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That someone turned out to be one of Magley’s league players.

“I’m like, ‘Who is this guy?’ and I’m looking closer, and he’s got his warm-ups. He’s a player!” said Magley, still shaking his head in disbelief. “I’m like, ‘Wait a minute! One of our players is doing CPR!’ remembered thinking.


“I worked on him for about 10 minutes before paramedics could get there,” Copeland said of his lifesaving actions.

By the time paramedics arrived, the referee was awake and talking, Copeland said.

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“He was talking about how he wanted to come back and officiate the game,” Copeland said.

Copeland who then helped his team win that game and another the next day.

Ironically, Copeland doesn’t usually play with the traveling team, but Magley said Copeland worked around the clock to be able to play in the game against Jamestown.

“But God,” said Magley.

On Thursday, Magley was at Kokomo as the Glass City team took on the Kokomo BobKats in the league’s Midwestern Conference Finals opener. But first, a ceremony honoring Copeland, a firefighter, a basketball player and now, another man’s hero.

“I hear all these things about our young men, our young African American men, what they are not and what they are not, but he represents everything that is good in our young people today” , said Magley. “There are so many great young men we see who are never seen like Myles, and I’m just honored to have him playing in our league.”

“Someone is here today because of you,” 13News reporter Emily Longnecker told Copeland.

“It’s an incredible feeling, something you’ll never get over, something I’ll probably remember for the rest of my life,” he said, adding that the referee was due for a triple bypass on Friday. .

Is there anything Copeland can’t do?

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’m still trying to figure that out.

“Where’s your cape?” Longnecker then asked.

“I don’t need a cape,” Copeland said with a smile.

This is what the heroes look like.


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