Photo: Rick Bowmer/AP

Hey, what’d you do this summer? I built half a porch onto my house, badly, and now have to climb over a construction zone in order to enter my home, with no end in sight. Probably you did something a lot cooler than this. If you’re Thabo Sefolosha, some of what you did this summer is save a woman from drowning to death on the Provo River, and that is so much cooler than fucking up your home.

The Salt Lake Tribune has the story of Sefolosha taking his family out to enjoy some outdoor adventuring in Utah, where they’ve moved since Sefolosha signed with the Jazz. While rafting down the Provo River, the family happened upon Lisa Clark, who’d been tossed from her tube by rapids, and found herself in dire straits:

It was rougher for some than others: Clark had decided to float on the river with several of her friends and her children, on what she called a “bucket list” adventure. But the river was faster and harder to handle than anticipated — many weekend tubers can relate.

With about 20 minutes left on the trip, Clark hit a boulder in the stream and flipped over. Her tube and oars quickly floated downstream. Her life vest rode up past her head, and she was struggling for air.

Apparently this isn’t an especially uncommon thing! The report says three people died in May of this year on that river, in “volatile waters.” From the sound of it, Clark was in a lot worse shape than Sefolosha—who confirmed the encounter but told reporter Kyle Goon he “didn’t save nobody”—realized when they crossed paths:

“I always wondered how people drowned in small water before this happened,” she said. “The water was so swift, I couldn’t catch my breath. It was really terrifying.”

One of her friends, Heidi Bishop, grabbed her shirt and tried to take her along with her, but she was worried that Clark might capsize her as well. As she thrashed along in the water, Clark was hitting rocks in the stream, gathering cuts and bruises.

[...]

“I don’t know how I would’ve gotten her 20 more minutes down the river,” Bishop recalled. “He really did save her life.”

Clark and Bishop tried to flag down other rafters as they moved along, but it sounds like no one much took the struggling pair very seriously until the Sefalosha family came merrily along and hauled Clark into their raft. Clark, for her part, knew that Sefolosha was tall, and quickly learned that he “worked for the Jazz,” but had no idea who’d saved her.

As Clark was trying to soothe her nerves from the ordeal, she made idle conversation with the family, who was speaking in a foreign language. Sefolosha said he had recently moved from Atlanta for work.

“When I asked him where he worked, he just said he worked for the Jazz, not that he played for them,” Clark said. “I kind of figured he was a player because his feet were so big.”

Thabo has some interesting summer breaks, although this surely beats the hell out of being violently attacked and having your leg broken. Cool summer experience essay for the Sefolosha kids. This summer I smashed my thumb 48 times with a hammer.