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.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady improving after being hospitalized

James Woodard, Anton Grady, Ron Baker
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Wichita State senior forward Anton Grady received some positive news on Saturday as a neurosurgeon reviewed MRI results, which are negative for spinal cord trauma.

According to a release from Wichita State, doctors believed Grady suffered a spinal cord concussion during a collision on Friday after he was taken off the floor in a stretcher and taken to a hospital in an ambulance. CT and MRI scans on Friday both turned up negative, but the news of Saturday’s results are an even more encouraging sign for Grady.

The injury for Grady occurred during a Friday loss to Alabama during the AdvoCare Invitational as the senior’s condition has improved since the collision. Grady will receive physical therapy over the next few days and doctors will check his progress before he is released from the hospital.

Grady has been alert and responsive to questions and had feeling in his extremities on Friday, but the use of his arms and legs was limited. By Saturday morning, Grady had improved the use of his extremities.

The 6-foot-8 Grady has averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds per game this season in his first season with the Shockers. The Cleveland State transfer is shooting 39 percent from the field.

Colorado’s Tory Miller reprimanded by Pac-12 after biting opponent

Dusan Ristic, Tory Miller
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Colorado sophomore forward Tory Miller has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and he also apologized for biting Air Force’s Hayden Graham earlier this week.

During Colorado’s win over Air Force on Wednesday, Miller was assessed a Flagrant 2 Dead Ball Technical Foul and ejected with 12:25 left in the second half after biting Graham during a loose ball.

In a release from the Pac-12, they announced reprimanding Miller, but he will not be suspended.

“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct and Sportsman-ship,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release. “Regardless of Mr. Miller’s frustration and emotion, such behavior is unacceptable and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”

Miller also released his apology in the same release.

“I would like to apologize for my actions during the Air Force game. I would like to apologize to Hayden Graham, Air Force, my teammates and fans. It was a heat of the moment thing. I’m an emotional player, but I let my emotions get the best of me. I will use this as a learning experience and focus on helping my teammates and respecting my opponents for the rest of the season and beyond,” Miller said.

For Miller to not be suspended for this is good news for him and Colorado since he won’t miss any additional action, but did the Pac-12 make the right decision on this?