TruGame teams with former NBA player to fight Sudden Cardiac Arrest

The game of basketball is demanding, but sudden cardiac arrest is threatening to take players out of the game of life.

SCA claims a life every two minutes – that’s more than breast cancer, lung cancer and AIDS. Yet it doesn’t necessarily get the attention.

But Jocquis Sconiers of Anchorage wants to change that.

Alaska has HeartThe former University of Alaska Fairbanks basketball player has teamed with Hoops for Heart Health founder and former NBA player Ryan Gomes to help raise awareness through the launch of the inaugural ‘Alaska Has Heart’ initiative.

Sconiers, a local teacher and former college basketball coach, founded a nonprofit youth organization called TruGame and works closely with Alaska teens to prepare them for college.

“It’s my passion to help kids have an opportunity to be everything he or she can be,” he said.

Together, TruGame and Hoops for Heart Health have joined forces to promote a heart healthy environment through programs, legislation and placement of automated external defibrillators in schools, rec center and public venues.

“Better to be proactive than reactive,” Sconiers said.

An automated external defibrillator can prevent sudden cardiac deaths. They cost up to $5,000 apiece, so fundraising is key.

Gomes and the Hoops for Heart Health organization donates automated external defibrillators to cities all across the country and now they are coming to Alaska.

TruGame and Hoops for Heart Health will hold an ‘Alaska Has Heart’ gala event the night of Feb. 6at the Hotel Captain Cook. For more information, contact Jocquis Sconiers at 860-952-4550 or Debra at 907-727-5440.

“If we can save just one life it makes all our efforts worth it,” Gomes said. “We hope we never have to use an AED in Alaska but we need to be prepared and ready if the situation presents itself.”