When Mercer High (Pa.) sophomore forward Kelsey Swartz was warming up for a girls basketball tournament game at Hickory High in Hermitage, Pa., last week, she noticed the rim was bouncing slightly. But she didn’t think anything of it and continued to practice her shot before the game against General McLane High (Edinboro, Pa.).
After all, who had ever heard of the rim collapsing?
Swartz was fouled as she drove to the hoop during the first quarter. She stepped to the line, bounced the ball three times, took a breath and released but missed the first shot.
Determined to make her second attempt, Swartz took another deep breath, looked at the back of the rim and shot. But when the ball hit the left side of the rim, the rim fell to the court. Her jaw immediately dropped as she looked toward her mother in the stands.
“It’s crazy how something like that can make big news.”-Kelsey Swartz
“I didn’t know what to think,” Swartz told USA TODAY High School Sports on Monday.
The result was a video that has gone viral, been shown on ESPN SportsCenter’s Not Top 10 plays, CNN and countless websites. Swartz was back at school Monday and has become a celebrity.
“People have been making fun of what happened and asking if I had to pay for the rim,” Swartz said, laughing. “It’s crazy how something like that can make big news.”
The broken basket paused the game for 45 minutes, and she sat on the bench in her warmups alongside teammates as they joked about the incident as the rim was being repaired. When the hoop was fixed, her teammates stood back to let Swartz take the first shot and then laughed.
General McLane would go on to win the game 52-39.
“From what I saw, it wasn’t at our school, but it looked like it broke from overuse or from a defect,” said Mercer athletic director Steve Hoover. “We’ve had kids jump and hang on rims, but I’ve never seen anything like this happen.
“As big and heavy as it is, it’s a very good thing hit didn’t it anybody.”