Utah State basketball player improving

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 5, 2012 at 7:21 pm •  Published: December 5, 2012
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A game scheduled for Wednesday night between Utah State and Brigham Young in Provo was postponed because of Berger's condition, school officials said. No date has been selected to play the game.

Utah State's home game against Western Oregon will go on as scheduled, Barnes said.

BYU head coach Dave Rose said he was 100 percent behind the decision to postpone the game.

"That's an emotional thing for the players and an emotional thing for the coaches," Rose said. "Even though they got him breathing before he left the gym, I think it would still have a really emotional effect on your team."

Utah State athletic director Scott Barnes said Berger's coaches and teammates are deeply concerned about him and have been his side the entire time.

"They are holding each other up through this thing," Barnes said. "At a time like this, the actual athletic event takes a back seat."

Messages of thoughts and prayers have been pouring in from fans and universities across the country, Barnes said. About the support, John Berger said, "I know that you have made a difference in keeping my brother alive."

Students at the campus in rural Logan were stunned by the turn of events as they prepared for the big rivalry game with BYU, which will be rescheduled.

"Everybody is in shock, and in awe of how it can happen to such a good guy," said Karson Kalian of Utah State's HURD student section. "He is one of the hardest-working people on the court. He's got a lot of determination and shows a lot of heart."

Kalian noted that social media sites have lit up with support for Berger, his family and the Aggies basketball team. "It feels more like Danny is our brother and we're one big family," Kalian said.

He praised BYU for postponing the game, saying, "Life is more important than basketball."

There's no question fans were looking forward to the rivalry. BYU twitter posts indicated students had been camping out for two days to get the best seats available in the new student section at the Marriott Center.

Last year, Utah State students camped out for three days to do the same at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

After Utah State's football team lost 6-3 to BYU in Provo this fall, Kalian said there was plenty of energy building to avenge that loss on the basketball court.

Now the energy is being spent on Berger, with hopes and prayers that he recovers fully.

Even BYU's basketball team sent its thoughts and prayers to Berger through a Twitter post, as did the Saint Mary's team, which beat the Aggies earlier this year.

Kalian said Berger deserves support.

"There's not one person who will say anything bad about Danny Berger. If there was an athlete you could label as the perfect guy, it would be Danny Berger," he said.

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AP Sports Writer Lynn DeBruin and Associated Press Writer Jay Wamsley contributed to this report.