Danny Berger, Spencer Butterfield

Utah State’s Danny Berger returns to the floor after collapsing during practice in December

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On Dec. 4, Utah State forward Danny Berger collapsed during practice, and had stopped breathing. The trainers rushed to his side, performed CPR and used an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to save the junior forward’s life.

Nine months later, the 6-foot-6 Berger, who now has an implanted defibrillator, is back to playing for the Aggies, and has been cleared to play without any restrictions this season, according to ESPN’s Andy Katz.

“Basketball is an enormous part of my life,” Berger told Katz. “I’m sure it is to a lot of people too. I want to be that guy that is an example to a lot of people. I want to give them hope.”

Several heroes emerged from Berger’s life-threatening moment. Utah State trainer Mike Williams was quick to respond. The Aggies manager Jessie Parker knew the exact location of the facility’s AED and had the presence of mind to immediately get it once Berger collapsed. Even former Providence star, and Oklahoma State Thunder forward played a role. Gomes had donated multiple AED machines to schools, one of them being Utah State.  According to Katz, Berger flew to Connecticut this summer and met Gomes, playing in his golf tournament.

Unfortunately, Berger’s situation is not uncommon. Most recently, Wichita State’s freshman guard D.J. Bowles collapsed during a practice on Sept. 3. Luckily, like in the case for Berger, trainers were quick to react, and on Thursday Bowles underwent a procedure to have an internal defibrillator installed. Berger has had a challenging nine months, but since returning to the court with the rest of his Aggie teammates, he appears to remain the same person.

“I gathered the team together in summer workouts and told them that they’ve got to take care of themselves because last year killed me,” Utah State Stew Morrill recalled. “Danny then spoke up and said, ‘Me too.’ It was a great line. He has a great sense of humor. But seriously, he is an unbelievable kid.”

Berger was averaging 7.6  points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists before the events that occurred on Dec. 4. He is expected to play both forward positions this season.

VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe

King Rice
AP
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.

The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.