A game between two Canadian girls basketball programs took on special meaning beyond the final score last weekend.
In the contest between British Columbia schools Okanagan Mission (Kelowna) and NorKam (Kamloops), a lopsided score yielded a special moment for Mission senior Emma Parmar.
Kamloops This Week shared this story of sportsmanship from the Great White North.
In November, Parmar tore her ACL in her team’s last practice before the season opener. She had missed much of the previous two seasons with knee issues as well. Still, Parmar stayed with the team all season.
Over the weekend, Okanagan Mission held a sizeable lead over NorKam in the tournament opener, a game that finished 75-31. As Kamloops this Week reported, Mission coach Megan Faust remembered that Parmar had her uniform with her at the team picture.
“I looked down and thought, ‘OK, let’s just put her in and see what we can do,’” Faust told Kamlopps This Week. “Her face was something I’ll never forget. She walked off to put her uniform on. She had the biggest grin. It was one of the most special moments of my coaching career and life.”
“The smile on my face was huge and I could not get it off,” Parmar said. “I went to put on my jersey and looked at myself in the mirror for the first time. I just started crying. It was really emotional.”
Parmar went in with 1:58 left in the game, even though running and jumping were out of the question.
While her teammates set Parmar up with passes, she missed several shots, and time was winding down.
That’s when NorKam junior point guard Cassie Ferguson stepped in. Ferguson’s older sister, Emily, had played with Parmar on a club team two years ago, so she had familiarity with her opponent.
“Her shots just weren’t dropping,” Ferguson told Kamlopps This Week. “My teammate inbounded it to me. There were five seconds left. I just passed Emma the ball and told her to shoot.”
Once again, Parmar didn’t hit her shot. Ferguson grabbed the rebound and gave her opponent one last chance.
Kamloops This Week’s Marty Hastings tells the rest:
“At that point, there was only one second left on the clock,” Ferguson recalled.
The Huskies held their breath.
“The shot went in, the buzzer went and everyone started crying,” Faust said.
Parmar was mobbed.
“There was not a single person in the gym who had a dry eye,” Parmar said.
What a moment. For an opposing player to come through, to help provide a memorable moment in the closing seconds of a blowout, that’s rare. Sportsmanship comes in many forms, all of them refreshing.