The stat line from one particular sequence in a Valentine’s Day fourth grade basketball game in Ohio was enough to elicit a double-take, but it turns out there’s a very good reason for one Blanchester Wildcats player to take seven shots in a single possession.
As noted by Bob’s Blitz, Blanchester’s recent game against Wilmington ground to a temporary halt when Wilmington’s players voluntarily turned the ball over to a Blanchester player who wasn’t his team’s most coordinated. We have no idea about the reason for his struggles from the field, but whatever the impetus, he wasn’t the team member most likely to take the ball down court for a coast-to-coast breakaway.
Yet, that’s essentially what he did after he was passed the ball by a Wilmington player on the perimeter. With the help of Blanchester teammates and some lenient officiating, the fourth grader got the ball down into the paint on the Wilmington half of the court and launched a point blank shot. He missed, but Wilmington backed off to let Blanchester players corral all rebounds near the basket. Following a quick feed and spacial readjustment with the help of another teammate, our protagonist missed again, and the sequence played out four more times.
Finally, on a seventh attempt he connected for the bucket, sending both teams into a brief celebration before Wilmington drove the floor again.
It’s hard to emphasize just how impressive an act of sportsmanship this basket was, from both sides. Wilmington immediately went back into a fast break offense after yielding the points, which just shows what they would have been doing had they not taken a break to help an opponent. Similarly, the patient encouragement from the entire Blanchester roster went far beyond what you usually see from fourth graders.
All-in-all it was a very nice moment, followed immediately by more fast breaking pee wee hoops. As it should be.