Carlsbad basketball coach Scott Ogden shouts instructions to his team in his first night back after suffering a stroke during a game at Ramona last year.
CARLSBAD When Carlsbad High coach Scott Ogden was putting together the schedule for his boys basketball team this season, the best date for a nonleague game against Ramona was Jan. 3.
So Ogden and Ramona coach David Reichner agreed on the day.
But something kept nagging at Ogden. It was almost like he’d forgotten something important about that date.
Thursday was the one-year anniversary of the game, at Ramona, when the 48-year-old Ogden suffered a stroke with four minutes to play.
“A sane person wouldn’t schedule a game on the same day and against the same team,” said Ogden, whose team defeated Ramona 64-51 at home this time. “Ten minutes later, I remembered why that was significant.”
Ogden, having passed a battery of tests over the next few weeks following his stay at Pomerado Hospital in Poway, is back to normal and back on the bench coaching his Lancers, including son Chase, a 6-foot-4 junior who was in the game last year at Ramona and was unaware how serious the situation was when an administrator told him to race to the ambulance after the final whistle of the 60-53 loss to the Bulldogs.
“I could write a book about that night that’s how fresh it still is,” Chase said. “Yes, it’s weird playing Ramona on the same night as last year, but as long as we’re not playing in Ramona.
“I could go two lifetimes without seeing my dad laying in the ambulance.”
Instead, Chase and his mom, Lisa, followed the ambulance down the hill to Pomerado, checking what was going on inside and making phone calls to family members.
“He gave us a few thumbs up through the window, which we both appreciated,” Chase said. “It was kind of a tie between my mom and me as to who was freaking out more.”
The whole incident was the result of a hole in Scott’s heart that he’d had his whole life.
According to Ogden, doctors decided not to repair the hole, preferring to treat the hole with medication.
Ogden takes an aspirin daily. Other than that his life has stabilized.
“The doctors didn’t change my diet or exercise program,” Ogden said. “I’ve tried to eat a little better. You know, mix in a few salads now and then.
“If I have a cheeseburger or pizza, I’ll give it a few more salads to make up for it.”
Ogden has noticed just one side effect. It’s not a big deal, according to Ogden, but he forgets first names more often now.
“That’s something that never happened before,” he said. “If that’s the worst thing that happened, I got off lucky.”
Ogden jokes that there are now two heart defibrillators located on campus since his night at Ramona.
But his style of coaching remains virtually unchanged just reigned in a little bit.