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EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE: Bolivia man's invention stops time

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A Bolivia man has mastered the art of making time stand still. Mike Costabile's invention allows a basketball referee's whistle to travel at the speed of light to stop the game clock.

Basketball is a game where every second counts. The game clock is the ultimate authority in who wins and who loses. Its importance sparked Costabile's mission to invent a technology that would change the game of basketball forever.

"When the ref blows the whistle, the clock needs to stop," Costabile said.

It was after a controversial call he made refereeing in the NBA when Costabile saw a need for a big change.

"When a human being is working, it's at the speed of sound," he said. "This works at the speed of light."

So he tapped into his knowledge of operating a ham radio, and Costabile invented Precision Time System, which is designed to stop the clock as quickly as possible. It is now the industry standard in timekeeping and is used in all levels of play from the NBA to high school.

"When they're fouling to stop the clock because they want to stop it, because the team is behind, that's when this thing comes into play," Costabile said.

Its superiority is in its speed. A small microphone attaches to the ref's whistle. When the ref blows the whistle, the frequency runs through his belt pack to a base station and stops the clock.

Traveling at the speed of light, the whistle wins every time stopping the clock at merely tenths of a second and making a game like basketball even more thrilling.

Costabile's Precision Time System is used at schools across the Cape Fear, including New Hanover High School and UNCW.

If you know an extroardinary person in our area, e-mail Cacky Catlett at ccatlett@wwaytv3.com.

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