Basketball player resuscitates referee with mid-game CPR, proceeds to win game

Myles Copeland became a hero last weekend when he performed CPR on a referee who collapsed mid-game. Copeland, a 25-year-old firefighter who plays for Toledo Glass City of The Basketball League, rushed to the aid of John Scully as he laid motionless on the court.

After paramedics arrived and transported Scully to a local hospital, Glass City defeated the Jamestown Jackals 96-93, with the hero scoring two points and grabbing three offensive rebounds in four minutes. Copeland, who never went on the road with the team, was not supposed to be at that game.

He works 24-hour shifts at the firehouse and gets 48 hours off after every full day of labor. The firefighter decided to attent the playoff road game and as he said in an interview with ESPN, he was able to switch back into hero mode.

“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.”

Myles Copeland, the hero

Copeland’s heroics helped save Sculli’s life, who will be back officiating next season. The referee is scheduled to undergo heart surgery this week to fix a blockage that caused him to collapse.

Copeland, who insists everyone should learn CPR, played Division III college basketball at Trine University in Indiana. He has been a Toledo firefighter for over a year and this is his first season playing in The Basketball League.

“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.”