Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Anatomy of a Buzzer Beater

The crowd roars, the scoreboard does not show a pleasant tale. Down by two with 3 seconds left, it seems as if this orange sphere that has been my passion if not obsession over the past 18 years clutches my destiny. It refuses to let go; my mind is telling me that quite simply that everything I worked for and sweated for and suffered for has come down to this one moment. No other win, no matter how sweet and fulfilling it felt at the time, is worth anything right now. Right now, all that matters is just that; right now. Some would call this my moment in time, my one moment to own for all history. A moment that simply would become indelibly stamped on not just my memory, but everyone else in the gym would remember it too. I would not just be another good player in the incredibly long list of good high school basketball players; I would be the player who hit the shot to win the championship. There is a major difference.

I see the crowd either praying for a miracle or quite possibly praying for one more miss in my career that had been cluttered with several misses. There had been there misses that had not mattered in the final outcome of the game, there had been misses that did not seem to cost us the game at the time, and there had been misses that had indeed lost us the game. I knew that this would not happen now. I had missed too much to miss one more time. Despite the fact that the ball seemed to hold on to my destiny that moment, I knew it had to be a bright future. I knew it had to be one that resulted in a new legend in the annals of high school history. I knew it would be one that I would tell all of my buddies in the nursing home someday and even perhaps write about in my memoirs. I knew that this moment had to turn out right, so with 2.4 seconds left I planted my feet and launched myself quite possibly into the lower stratosphere. I rose as the clock dropped; I felt the ball roll off of my fingertips. The arcing projectile rose and rose as the clock came to a halt at zero. As the ball began to drop, I knew there are no alternatives; it needed to go in.

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