Omar Carter, former teammate of Steph Curry, uses his own on-court cardiac arrest to save lives


When Appalachian State University basketball player Omar Carter walked into the Grady Cole Center in Charlotte on July 9, 2013, he had no idea it would be the last time he would play competitive basketball.

During the game, Carter was on the court and fell a few steps after a basket made by his teammate.

“I was dead within 13 minutes,” Carter said. “When I woke up and found out about everything that had happened, I pretty much just realized it and knew there was a need for it.”

The need Carter mentioned is this the importance of bystander CPRor community CPR as it is sometimes called.

Carter created The Omar Carter Foundation to teach 1 million people how to perform bystander CPR and raise awareness of the important role of CPR in saving lives.

WATCH: Damar Hamlin collapse boosts local sales of defibrillators

Carter has long dreamed of playing in the NBA alongside his childhood friend, Steph Curry.

“It was a thing when we played together in high school, we always practiced together and could push each other,” Curry said in an ESPN E60 documentary. “Because we wanted to be great. Many nights we talked about everything. But exactly what we wanted to achieve.”

Carter’s dreams were put on hold and, in a sense, undone when he collapsed to the floor.

“I have an ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) implanted in my chest,” Carter said. “And there may be questions about how you can live a normal life? What happens after? Mentally, you know what you’ve had to go through. So the Omar Carter Foundation does just that. We want to teach a million We also want to give hope that it is possible to lead a normal life.”

For a long time, Carter envisioned basketball as his way of reaching people, changing and inspiring lives.

“I’m a man of faith. That’s why I know that God makes things happen for a reason,” he said. “And the foundation was my passion. Being able to talk to people is something I’ve always wanted to do. I always thought basketball was going to be my wheelhouse to be able to do that. But the Lord had other plans.”

WATCH: Parents weigh in on contact sports concerns after Damar Hamlin collapse during Monday Night Football

Carter used his episode to reach people across North Carolina and across the country, raising awareness and teaching CPR.

“It has shown a lot of promise with people who feel comfortable afterwards,” he said.

Carter and Curry remain friends to this day and talk regularly. He plans to talk to Curry about Hamlin’s injury very soon.

When asked how Hamlin will recover, Carter said, “If I were him, I think it’s his decision, and if I can be honest, I think when he wakes up, he’ll get to it. He is supported by recommendations from his family from his family. I think that would be his decision. And it won’t be an easy road.”

Hamlin’s question to be answered remains which fork in the middle of the road you take. “I think if he wants to, I think he can. I don’t know his diagnosis. I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but it sounds like he’s a strong young man. I think he can ask that question,” Carter said.

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Omar Carter, former teammate of Steph Curry, uses his own on-court cardiac arrest to save lives

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