LOGAN — Athletics officials from both BYU and USU have confirmed that tonight's men's basketball game between the two universities will be postponed due to the serious medical condition of USU starting forward Danny Berger.
The news of the postponement was widely anticipated, and sources close to both programs told multiple media outlets late Tuesday night the game would be postponed. First official word of the postponement came when BYU head coach Dave Rose told ESPN reporter Andy Katz Wednesday morning the game was off.
The Aggies and Cougars were set to tangle Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Provo. However, Berger suffered a serious medical situation on the court during practice Tuesday afternoon.
According to USU media relations, Berger collapsed during practice and stopped breathing. CPR was performed and a defibrillator was used to keep him alive until emergency medical personnel arrived.
Berger was then taken to the Intermountain Health Care hospital in Murray where he spent the night in stable but critical condition.
Fans and players of both schools expressed sympathy and support for Berger and the USU team following the incident. Most did so through the twitter hashtag #prayfordanny.
The last time anything similar to this happened to a Utah State student athlete was in 2011. Current USU starting quarterback Chuckie Keeton was carried off the field on a stretcher in a contest at Hawaii. Junior quarterback Adam Kennedy came into the game and led the Aggies to a comeback victory. Kennedy then led the Aggies to five straight victories and the first USU bowl berth in 14 years.
In 1965, Wayne Estes of Anaconda, Mont., a member of the USU Athletics Hall of Fame and basketball All-American, died after touching a downed power line knocked from a pole during a car accident on USU campus. News reports from the time say emergency personnel attempted to revive Estes for 30 minutes before pronouncing him dead at the scene.
Estes died two hours after playing very well against Denver University. On that night, Estes scored 48 points in a 91-62 victory. He also became the first Aggie to break the 2,000-point barrier, accumulating 2,001 before he died. He apparently had gathered interest from several professional clubs, including the Lakers.
Of the game, Estes told reporters, "That was the best I ever played in my college career."
Landon Hemsley is Sports Content Manager for DeseretNews.com.