Danny Berger put the Utah State program through one of the most terrifying crises imaginable.
During a practice in early December, Berger’s heart-stopped. He got light-headed and passed out on the floor, where trainers first gave him CPR and then used an AED to shock his heart and bring him back to life.
Right there on the court at the Spectrum, Berger’s life was saved, in front of his teammates, his friends, his coaches.
Athletic trainer Mike Williams is the first of these I want to thank. His skill set and quickness to act was pivotal in my survival. Jessie Parker, our team manager, my roommate and friend knew exactly where the AED was at the moment of my collapse. His awareness and clarity of mind made it possible for Mike to do what he did. The coaches who were also trained in CPR need to be thanked. The paramedics who rushed to the Spectrum and doctors and nurses who worked on me and did the necessary things to preserve my life and memory are owed a thank you. My fellow teammates were huge in the whole situation, and I cannot imagine what they were going through. I also thank everyone who thought or prayed for me or sent me a message or a card or anything like that for what they did. I have realized how great the Aggie family really is. Thousands of people pulled together and have made this process a lot easier.
The good news is that Berger seems to be getting back to being healthy and that he should be able to live a long and prosperous life. He’s currently got a defibrillator in his chest, but he’s able to do some work on a stationary bike and said in the blog post that he’s able to do some jogging.
He also said that he plans on getting back out onto the court one day. Here’s to hoping he’s able to make that happen.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.