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Utah State basketball: Berger’s back after nearly dying on court

The junior hopes that the episode will soon be a footnote to a successful basketball career.

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"He’s more comfortable out there than he used to be," Utah State coach Stew Morrill said. "Danny is so stable and solid as a person, that you always know where he’s coming from and doing what you ask. It’s great to have him back."

Berger will have the rest of his life to be an advocate for AEDs, but he has the next two seasons to be a basketball player.

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He plans on making the most of it, and remind people that Danny Berger is a basketball player, not just the guy who’s heart stopped on the practice floor.

Berger has already won over the teammates who witnessed his scary collapse. They initially found it hard to watch him run and jump. They fretted over him, worried about his fragility. The passage of time has convinced them he’s back to his old self.

"He’s doing what he needs to do to get on the floor, and he’s been great," Medlin said. "He fights so hard. It was tragic what happened to him. But he’s better, he’s playing. We’re glad to have him back."

Said Berger: "We’re out here every day going hard, and I don’t think they think about that much any more. Maybe a little bit, but not too much."

Berger knows he can’t always control what his body will do, but he can choose how to approach his life, and he can choose to keep working to be the best basketball player he can be.

That’s what almost dying taught him.

"I just try to show up every day and play hard to try to reach my full potential as a player," he said. "If I can reach other people in other ways, that’s great, too. I guess I’m more than just a basketball player. That will be over sometime in my life."

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Twitter: @kylegoon

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