Michigan high school basketball coach saved by bystanders, AED at game

Grosse Pointe South High School girls

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The second half of thegirls varsity basketball game between Grosse Pointe (Michigan) North and Grosse Pointe South was about to begin when freshman girls coach Bob Zaranek returned from the concession stand, carrying popcorn for South scorekeeper Leo Lamberti.

He placed the popcorn down and noticed the clock — 58 seconds left in the halftime break.

“I looked up and saw the team coming out,” Zaranek said. “I looked back down and my eyes got blurry. I thought: ‘Wow, that’s kind of weird.’

“That’s the last thing I remember.”

Zaranek collapsed, hitting the court face-first. He was clinically dead. 

A few weeks have passed since he was brought back to life — twice — and he is again coaching the South freshman girls team while trying to make sense of what happened that night.

He still has no answers to any of his questions. All Zaranek, an attorney, knows for sure is that he is alive only because of an amazing group of people who did not panic in the most traumatic moment.

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