Two Enid High School basketball coaches are being recognized for helping save the life of one of their players.
Plainsmen guard Dylan Smith, 16, was recently participating in conditioning drills at the school, when he began sweating profusely, yet head coach Kyle Hilterbran said Smith was cold to the touch.
“He was like ice cold, so I knew right there something wasn’t normal,” he said.
Assistant coach Don Edmondson has a background in respiratory therapy, and said he suspected Smith was suffering from something other than the flu, or asthma.
“I just called some people I knew,” he said.
Doctors in Enid and the Oklahoma Heart Institute in Oklahoma City put Dylan through a long list of tests.
They discovered Dylan suffers from a genetic heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
If it sounds familiar to long-time basketball fans, it should.
It’s the same thing that killed college basketball superstar Hank Gathers during a college basketball postseason tournament game nearly 26 years ago.
Dylan can no longer play basketball, but he’s not overly concerned.
“At least I’m still here and can tell stories about it,” he said.
Dylan now volunteers as a student assistant coach with his team, and he plans to study sports medicine at Oklahoma State University.
His head coach and assistant coach say they’re not heroes, they just did the right thing.
“You realize this is kind of a big deal. This is life. Yeah, this is life,” Hilterbran said.