CBS Evening News marked March Madness Friday night by airing a remarkable story of how a North Carolina high school basketball team stunned their rival with a Hail Mary shot.
“I still can’t believe that even happened,” one player said.
“I felt like there was no one who could stop us,” added another.
“I will remember this game for the rest of my life,” a third player told CBS News.
The January game between Bishop McGuiness and Mount Airy came down to the wire. With just seconds remaining on the clock, Mount Airy was a few points ahead.
Bishop McGuiness would need a miracle to make a comeback — and that’s exactly what they got.
“Rebound comes down to Gardner, leads it ahead to Wilson, he’s going to lob it up from 3/4 court,” the announcer said. “That’s got a shot — it’s good! Oh my goodness! Spencer Wilson from 50 feet out wins the game for the Villains!”
But, while the comeback was certainly remarkable, that’s not why Wilson will forever remember the game.
To understand why the game was so special, it’s necessary to know about the events preceding the game.
Just a few days before, coach Josh Thompson prepared the team by asking them to dedicate the game to someone. Thompson told them to write on a basketball the person they would be playing the game with a gold sharpie.
Wilson chose his friend Josh Rominger.
“Josh’s passion for life really drew me towards him,” he explained to CBS News.
The two were great friends with one unfortunate thing in common: they both had cancer. Only difference? Wilson beat his, Rominger didn’t and died just nine months prior.
Before the big game, Wilson wrote a letter to Rominger’s mother letting her know that he would be playing for her son.
“His joy illuminated the room, and it was always apparent to me that he was special,” he wrote. “Just wanted to let you know the impact your son has on my life still to this day. I will never forget him. Play for Josh.”
“I read it and cried,” Rominger’s mom, Denna told CBS News. “They just had that bond. Nobody else knew how Josh felt except for Spencer.”
During the game, all he thought about was his friend.
“During timeouts, when we touched the ball, I found where I wrote ‘Josh,’ and I looked for that,” Spencer says. “Put my hand on it every single time.”
“During timeouts, when we touched the ball, I found where I wrote ‘Josh,’ and I looked for that.”
So with his only two seconds left on the clock, some said Bishop McGuiness would need a miracle to comeback. As CBS News noted, that’s exactly what they got.
“In the official record book, Spencer Wilson will get credit for that remarkable Hail Mary,” CBS News’ Steve Hartman said. “But the boys here at Bishop believe Spencer’s friend Josh deserves at least an assist.”
“And no matter what you believe, you’ve got to score one for friendship,” he added.
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