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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Hoopfest player revived after clinically dying on court; wife says he’s ‘doing great’ at hospital and ‘very fortunate to be alive’

Dave Huss, far left, is pictured with his teammates.  (Photo courtesy of Jon Heimbigner )

A 68-year-old Hoopfest player was revived after collapsing on a court and clinically dying Saturday morning.

Dave Huss, a personal injury attorney from Everett and a Gonzaga University School of Law graduate, was “doing great” and in “good spirits” at the hospital Saturday afternoon, according to Huss’ wife, Jan.

“They just said he’s very fortunate to be alive,” she said.

She said her husband was undergoing tests to determine what caused the cardiac arrest, and that he would remain in the hospital overnight.

Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer confirmed the man was considered dead but was resuscitated.

The incident happened around 10:20 a.m. at the senior division court on the corner of Spokane Falls Boulevard and Stevens Street, according to the PulsePoint app.

Bill Tri, Huss’ teammate, said they had just lost their game and were shaking hands with the other team when Huss reached toward Tri and asked for help. Before Tri could grab Huss’ hand, Huss sat down and rolled over on his side, Tri said. He said he thought Huss was joking at first.

He said people screamed for medics. A woman sitting in the stands approached Huss, started chest compressions and directed people to do things, including retreive a defibrillator. First responders arrived not long after.

Tri said he started hugging someone and crying.

“I thought Dave was gone,” Tri said.

Jan Huss also said she thought her husband died.

She said Tri’s wife comforted her, and a pastor came over. As the pastor prayed, Jan Huss said her husband opened his eyes and started breathing again.

Tri said the woman from the stands saved Huss’ life.

“There were a number of heroes there, but she’s the primary,” Tri said.

Tri, a retired personal injury attorney, said he and Dave Huss play basketball together about three times a week at the Everett Family YMCA.

Jan Huss said her husband is a tough, healthy guy. She said he worked all year to get his body ready for Hoopfest and was extremely excited for the weekend.

“He felt like he let the team down,” she said.

Schaeffer said crews responded to 16 serious medical incidents Saturday at Hoopfest, and the cardiac arrest was the one critical episode.

He defined serious incidents as ones that required a person to be taken to the hospital, like broken legs and illnesses.

While it was not exceptionally hot, Schaeffer said it was one of the warmest days of the year, which exacerbated symptoms for some people with medical issues. The high in Spokane Saturday was 80 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

This wasn’t the first time a man went into cardiac arrest during Hoopfest weekend and survived. In 1993, Robert Martin, who was in his early 20s at the time, had a cardiac arrest during the 3-on-3 tournament but, like Dave Huss, was revived.

“The medical people obviously saved his life,” Jon Heimbigner, another Hoopfest player who helped start the senior division, said of Dave Huss.