Tag: Danny Berger


Two former Utah State players transferring to Division II BYU-Hawaii

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At the conclusion of the 2013-14 season four Utah State players, including starting forward Kyle Davis, announced their intentions to transfer to new schools. Saturday it was reported that two have found new homes, with 6-foot-6 forward Danny Berger and 6-foot-10 center Jordan Stone both headed to Division II BYU-Hawaii. The news was reported by Kris Henry of the Mail-Trubune.

Berger’s career has been an eventful one to say the least, with a heart issue forcing the wing to miss most of the 2012-13 season. Berger collapsed during a practice in December of 2012, and he was cleared to return to the court in September 2013. Berger played in 28 of Utah State’s 32 games this season, averaging 3.2 points and 1.9 rebounds in just under 12 minutes of action per game.

And in Henry’s story, Berger ruled out a lack of playing time as the reason why he decided to leave Utah State:

“That’s not really the issue,” he said of the playing time. “I’m just looking for a better opportunity and this experience presented itself.”

“It was a long up-and-down year (at Utah State) and I just feel like I can reach my potential at another place,” Berger added. “I’m not going to say everything I was thinking when I came to my decision, I just think there’s opportunities for me as a basketball player by transferring to BYU-Hawaii and it will help me out for the future.”

As for Stone he averaged 2.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 11.9 minutes of action per game, and both players will be eligible to play immediately since they’re dropping from the Division I to Division II level. Berger has one season of eligibility remaining, with Stone having two after redshirting as a freshman (2011-12).

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

Danny Berger, Spencer Butterfield
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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.

Utah State’s Danny Berger hopes to play basketball again

Danny Berger, Spencer Butterfield
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Less than a week after collapsing on the floor at practice, Utah State junior forward Danny Berger expects to play basketball again.

According to the Associated Press, the Utah State junior plans on suiting up again for the Aggies and is anticipating on being in attendance for Saturday’s game against Western Oregon after being released from the hospital.

Berger, a 6-foot-7 forward at Utah State, went into cardiac arrest during Tuesday’s practice, lost consciousness and stopped breathing. It wasn’t until the one of the team’s athletic trainer used a defibrillator to get him to start breathing again.

“If I everything goes right, it seems like I’ll have a full recovery,” Berger told the media on Friday.

Doctors have inserted a small defibrillator underneath Berger’s skin in his chest that would kick into action and restart his heart if it stops again. His left arm will remain in a sling for three weeks because of the defibrillator. After that, doctors say he should be cleared to play again.

Doctors explained that Berger should be able to play again without a problem, as many college basketball players have played with a defibrillator.

Dr. Jared Brunch was amazed with the quick response by the entire Utah State program, especially the assistant athletic trainer, Mike Williams, who used the defibrillator only minutes after Berger collapsed. Brunch went on to mention the importance of AEDs within athletic and recreational buildings. The AED was reportedly donated to Utah State as part of a foundation set up by former NBA forward, Ryan Gomes.

Berger said Williams didn’t have the device on top of the water cooler like usual, but team manager Jesse Parker sprinted up a tunnel at the basketball arena and brought it back down to the court quickly. Parker is Berger’s roommate.

In the meantime, Utah State and BYU are planning on rescheduling the game that was postponed following  Berger’s incident.

Utah State is currently 4-1. Berger was averaging 7.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game in 22 minutes a night for the Aggies.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne