Utah State player who collapsed grateful, tired


Utah State player who collapsed grateful, tired

LOGAN, Utah (AP) A tired but grateful Danny Berger called it a ``miracle'' that he was back to watch his Utah State teammates play days after collapsing on the court and being revived by an assistant trainer.

Berger was released from a Salt Lake City area hospital Saturday and back in Logan, flanked by the trainer credited with saving his life and a father who thought the worst upon receiving word of Tuesday's life-threatening incident while driving in the middle of the Nevada desert.

``I immediately thought Hank Gathers because I'm from there,'' Berger's father, Brian, said about the Loyola Marymount star who collapsed and died at age 23 in 1990 during a West Coast Conference Tournament game because of a heart-muscle disorder.

``I didn't know what to think.''

He quipped that Nevada state troopers let him get away with driving 110 mph as he made his way through the desert toward Utah, where he was headed for the Aggies' game Wednesday night against Brigham Young. The game was postponed but has since been rescheduled for Feb. 19.

Brian Berger also was grateful for Mike Williams, who is in his 14th year as an assistant athletic trainer at Utah State.

Williams was across the court Tuesday when Berger collapsed during a routine practice.

The 43-year-old Williams had been on site in 2007 when rodeo rider Tag Elliott nearly died after being hit in the head with a bull horn. He was among those who helped stabilize Elliott. But until Tuesday, Williams had only taught CPR, and never performed it.

If Tuesday's scene was chaotic, Williams said he didn't have time to notice. He yelled for the manager to call 911 and get the automatic defibrillator (AED).

``I remember looking down and starting CPR, mouth to mouth, the compressions and then hooking the AED up,'' Williams said. ``That's the worst part because it takes 15 seconds to analyze and you're just sitting there waiting.''

The machine finally said ``shock advised'' and Williams administered the shock, then went back to CPR. On the third set, he heard Berger gurgle a bit then blew another really hard breath into him.

``As I pulled up, I actually saw the pulse in his carotid artery before I felt it,'' Williams said.

Only afterward, when he tried to call the head trainer, did he realize how traumatic the situation was.

The phone was ringing and ringing but no one answered. Williams finally realized he had dialed 10 random digits and that his hands were shaking.

``Afterward the adrenaline got there, but fortunately that was afterward,'' Williams said.

Berger still doesn't remember any of that, only practicing defense in preparation for the rivalry game, then feeling dizzy as if he had stood up too fast.

``One of my teammates made a shot in my face when I was guarding him and I was kind of upset about it,'' he recalled Saturday.

Four days later, he looked forward to a reunion with the rest of his teammates, who will be wearing ``12'' patches on the jerseys. First, he wanted a nap.

``I can't explain everything. It's just a miracle,'' said Danny Berger, his left arm in a sling to protect the miniature defibrillator installed so doctors can monitor his heart remotely should there be any further problems.

Doctors cannot fully explain what caused the 22-year-old to collapse, but said he was born with a tendency for this to happen because of his heart having two to three extra beats, according to Dr. Jared Brunch of the Intermountain Medical Center where he was transported Tuesday via medical helicopter.

The elder Berger said Brunch told him Brunch is much more likely to have a heart attack than Danny, and that Danny is less likely to have a problem than anybody on the team because of the defibrillator.

The starting forward remains hopeful he will play again but is taking it day by day. Six weeks is the earliest he can get back out on the court.

``I just have to trust the experts,'' Brian Berger said.

Of course, Danny's mom is a little less enthusiastic.

``She just wants me to be in the library for the rest of my life,'' Danny joked.

All were grateful to be in Logan, getting ready to watch a basketball game with their son.

``There's literally dozens of people who have played a role in this whole process just in these last four days,'' Brian Berger said. ``And every single person has done the exact right thing that they needed to do, starting with Mike. ... If it hadn't been for Mike and the quick response ... I've got nothing but gratitude.

``Four days ago we didn't know what was going to happen and (Friday) Danny was walking on the treadmill. When you have something like this happen, it's that time period where it's either fatal or not, or brain damage or not.''

Danny, though he doesn't remember Williams at his side Tuesday, was glad to have him there Saturday during a press conference before the game against Western Oregon.

``I tried to tell the doctor that I want (Williams) to be my personal defibrillator but they didn't buy it, they had to put one in there,'' Danny Berger said. ``I owe Mike a lot. I can't ever pay him back. He's one of the smartest guys I know, and a lifelong friend.''

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After releasing Martez Carter the Redskins are thin at running back

Associated Press

After releasing Martez Carter the Redskins are thin at running back

The Redskins are very thin at running back right now. 

Today at practice the Redskins had three running backs on the field. Rob Kelley and Kapri Bibbs are fully healthy while Chris Thompson is limited as he recovers from a broken leg he suffered last November. 

Injuries have hit the depth at running back. The most recent casualty was Martez Carter, who was waived with an injury designation. 

The move was surprising since Carter had some good runs against the Jets during their preseason game on Thursday and he did not appear to be injured during the game. 

Coach Jay Gruden did not offer any more details as to what the injury to Carter was, only that he is no longer with the team. 

Also sidelined with lower leg injuries are Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall. According to media reports, Perine will be out one week and Marshall for two to four. Gruden would not confirm the timelines, saying only that they are undergoing treatment and the timetable for their returns in unknown. 

The Redskins will bring in some running backs to try out on Sunday. They will need at least one and probably two in order to get through the upcoming preseason game against the Broncos on Friday. 

In other personnel moves, the Redskins waived linebacker Jeff Knox and defensive end Jalen Wilkerson and signed offensive tackle Kendall Calhoun, defensive back Darius Hillary, and wide receiver Allenzae Staggers. 

More Redskins news

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler


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Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

NBC Sports Washington/USATSI

Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

After lifting the Stanley Cup just over two months ago, something else very exciting has happened in Alex Ovechkin's life.

Saturday morning, Nastya and Alex Ovechkin welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sergei, after Ovechkin's late brother. 

Ovi spent this week practicing at the Florida Panthers' facilities with other NHL players living in the surrounding area.

After the Cup's visit to Moscow, Nastya and Alex settled down at their apartment in Miami, staying put and preparing for the birth. 

The couple were married two years ago but didn't hold an official ceremony until July of last year. The celebration was as lavish as you'd expect.

She revealed her pregnancy shortly after the Cup victory, and has kept us up to date on life this summer via Instagram. A few weeks ago, the Ovechkins graced HELLO! Russia magazine, showing off Nastya's baby bump among their glamour shots.

💛 @aleksandrovechkinofficial #hello #hellorussia @hello__ru

A post shared by Nastasiya Ovechkina (@nastyashubskaya) on

Congratulations to Ovi and Nastya, and all our best wishes for health and happiness!