Myles copeland saves John Sculli’s lives during The Basketball League game

Myles Copeland, who had just completed a 24-hour stint as a Toledo Firefighter, went to New York for another job: he was a player in the Toledo Glass City of The Basketball League and was playing against the Jamestown Jackals.

However, his worlds collided just before the end the first quarter of Saturday’s game. John Sculli, a referee fell asleep on court and became unresponsive.

Copeland immediately took action when it happened from Toledo's benches. Copeland assessed Sculli's condition and began CPR until paramedics arrived.

It was almost instinctual. It was amazing how quickly I could switch into that mode, especially when playing in a basketball match,” Copeland stated during a telephone interview with ESPN on Wednesday. But being a firefighter means that you aren't off the job. You have to be aware of what's happening in the surrounding community.

Sculli was saved by Copeland's prompt response. He will have heart surgery to remove a blockage that led to his passing out. He is expected to return to reffing next season.

Toledo rallied and won Saturday's elimination round. It then advanced to the conference semifinals with a win Sunday. On Thursday, the Kokomo Bobcats will be facing it in Indiana. Copeland will be honored by the Basketball League ahead of that game.

David Magley, league president, said that a man like this should be celebrated. He saved his life, but also because of the humility with which it was done.

“He's the kinda person who is our hero, because he stepped in when he was needed and he won’t take any credit.” It was divine timing.”

Copeland (25), played Division III college hockey at Trine University, Indiana. This is his debut season with The Basketball League. Copeland has been a Toledo firefighter for just over a year.

He worked 24 hour shifts, with 48 hours off between. This meant that he could only make it to practice or games on days off during the season. It was a good timing that his Saturday shift ended in time for him to get to the playoff game.

“People have just been looking at me since then. Copeland stated that people have a different perception of me. “They feel like you are a hero.” It's something that has been repeated to me many times, but it's still hard for me to feel that click. I feel like I was doing another deed, another thing than I was supposed to. It didn't feel that I did anything extraordinary. It was what I was meant to do. God worked through my weakness. While I feel that others see me differently as a hero than I do, I don't think so.

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