Give something to 11-year-olds: They play hard right until the final whistle. They don’t seem to know how not to.
The latest proof of that universal truth came in the contest you see above, an U-11 final at an AAU tournament this summer. Rather incredibly, the game was still tied after double-overtime, sending the contest into a third extra period with the title on the line. At the end of that period, In the closing minute of that period, the San Francisco Rebels trailed 58-57, and were attempting to set up a potential final shot. It didn’t happen, thanks largely to a turnover that appeared to hand the game to the Rebels’ Las Vegas-based foes.
Game over, right? Wrong. Instead, cue that never say die spirit and a spot of magic, with Rebels player Tre Phearson picking off a wayward pass in the open court and launching a wild, running three from near mid-court, just in time to beat the buzzer.
The make sent the entire Rebels sideline into delirium, with their foes looking around as if trying to puzzle out precisely what went wrong. For Phearson, it was what went right, with that final bucket helping he and some teammates feel better just as they anticipated the worst in the final game of a tournament.