After heart-stopping moment, MCC basketball player is grateful to be alive

Malik Barnett

A life-and-death situation has a Metropolitan Community College basketball player grateful for every day.

Malik Barnett is a freshman guard on the MCC-Penn Valley men’s basketball team. While he is hale and healthy now and playing strong, his life could have turned out very differently had it not been for the quick actions of stranger last August.

Barnett was playing a casual game of basketball when he suddenly collapsed. Brandon Cameron, an assistant coach at Blue Valley North High School, happened to be at the gym. He jumped in and gave Barnett CPR and helped assist with the use of a defibrillator until emergency help arrived.

Barnett spoke to KMBC Channel 9’s Karen Kornacki recently about his recovery and joy for life. “If there’s a purpose I guess it will be shown to me,” Barnett says. “I don’t remember the last time I’ve gotten mad since that happened.”

MCC-Penn Valley Coach Marcus Harvey echoes Barnett’s sentiment.

“He was in my office the other day, and he was just laughing and joking and I said, ‘Malik, get out of my office!’ And he said, ‘Coach, I am just happy to be alive. ‘ ”

As for the good samaritan who made the life-saving difference, he and Barnett are now fast friends. “We’re thankful to know each other and our lives are better that way and we’re going to see each other through forever,” Cameron says.

Watch the entire KMBC story here:


To catch Barnett on the court, check out the basketball schedule here.