Illinois eighth-grader hits miraculous full-court buzzer-beater to win game
Cooper Thorson must have had one heck of a day at school on Wednesday. Fitting, because he hit one heck of a shot during a basketball game Tuesday night.
The eighth-grader from Marseilles, Illinois, sank a running left-handed buzzer-beating shot from nearly full court to lift his MIlton Pope team to a 34-32 victory over Marseilles.
Milton Pope coach Dakota Jones posted a video of the improbable shot on his Twitter feed Tuesday night, tagging notable accounts near and far. By Wednesday, the shot ended up on ESPN's Top 10.
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"Please share!" Jones wrote. "This is ESPN worthy and these kids deserve it!"
The video has been picked up by multiple TV stations and caught the attention of northern Illinois sports reporter J.T. Pedelty, a regional sports editor for Shaw Media covering LaSalle, Streator and its surrounding communities. He interviewed Thorson during his lunch hour on Wednesday.
"Best night of my life," Thorson told Pedelty less than a day after the shot, which came in his home gym located a few miles north of Marseilles and Seneca, north of Interstate 80.
After trailing by 10 at halftime, Milton Pope was down just 32-31 with 3.1 seconds remaining and Marseilles at the free throw line. After a miss, Thorson grabbed the rebound, took a dribble to his left, leaped and heaved a left-handed scoop shot. Nothing but net.
"I wasn’t really expecting it, that (rebound) just came my way," Thorson told Pedelty. "I felt blessed, it just came right to me. And when I shot that … I did not think I was gonna make it, and it just went in, and I fell to the ground out of excitement."