Waukesha West star trying to fulfill basketball dreams following his heart stopped mid-game

Posted at 10:41 PM, Mar 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-06 23:41:21-05

Ask anyone and they will tell you the same. It was a normal, hot, June day. But a normal day for David Skogman, was almost his last.

"Dave went and scored a basket, went to the free-throw line, and it was almost surreal. It was almost in slow motion. Dave was bouncing the basketball and you literally watched the ball bounce away from him," Waukesha West Coach Don LaValle said.

At 17 years old, Dave’s heart stopped. And at that moment, Dave had a 10 percent chance of survival.

Lucky for Dave, with the right people around him, 10 percent was enough.

"The crazy part of everything with that day is just everything that was put in place for me to still be here today," Dave said. "My mom being a retired nurse and her knowing what to do right away. Even my assistant coach being trained in AED the week before. You know I’m a Christian and I truly believe that God had a hand in everything."

Surviving cardiac arrest, Dave did undergo surgery to place an ICD in his chest.

"An ICD is basically like an AED," Dave said. "Except it's already planted in there and it has to wire leads that go up into my heart."

Despite his heart stopping, his love for the game never died.

"I suffered cardiac arrest and I guess my first thought, probably wasn't the right thought, but I started thinking about basketball right away," Dave said.

"Big thing was after surgery he couldn't use his left arm, so in two weeks he got really good shooting one handed," best friend and teammate Quentin Lewis-Smith said.
Nine months after his close call with death, Dave is back on the basketball court.

"Being here with my friends, my guys, you know I just love playing with them," Dave said. "Obviously there's just something about it, I can't explain it."

As a bonus, Dave has become the most sought after unassigned senior in Wisconsin, helping his team make a run for Madison.

"Here we are, you know there are 16 division 1 teams left," Coach LaValle said. "We are deep in the playoffs. We won conference for the first time in 18 years for Waukesha west, that's a huge deal."

He’s also fulfilling a promise he made to a best friend.

"We’ve been talking about that ever since we became friends four years ago," Dave said. "Senior year we are going to do something special."

Proving that even if your heart stops, you don't have to stop chasing your dreams.