It was more than just a shot. By all accounts it was a team effort. I wasn’t even at the game and I still can’t get enough of it.
What happened on Friday night was more than just player statistics, coaching strategies, and rival team records. The players and coaches clearly had prepared for clutch moments, and the teammates banded together when it mattered most.
But what struck me at home on the couch that night—and what captured the hearts of many like me who watched the video over and over again—was the pure joy and unabashed excitement of every member of our community as the crowd erupted and stormed the court.
In case you missed it, it was a tie basketball game with one second left when senior Evan Asleson shot a mid-court three-pointer that cinched the game. The Spartans won at Chaminade 79-76, and the crowd went wild.
So did our social media feeds.
Within minutes, an impromptu campaign to make the SportsCenter Top 10 took off as students realized Mr. Hawkey, ever-present and recording on the sidelines, had his own shot, capturing the moment on video and sharing it on Twitter and Instagram.
Here’s where the story gets me. ESPN SportsCenter broadcast their Friday night Top 10, with De Smet Jesuit coming in at number six. By the time it aired, Mr. Hawkey, administrators, and cheering fans were already at the second sporting event of the night, steadfastly supporting our hockey team.
Over the next 48 hours, Spartan delight flooded in via tweets, posts, and likes; sharing online school spirit from our entire community. Alumni referenced glory days. Teachers cheered on students and colleagues. Parents beamed. Local sports news outlets covered different angles. And students and coaches gave credit where credit was due. Because it was more than just a shot.
Photographer Jason Schoenig posted his shot of #33, junior Michael Skoff, as the defining photo of the team’s grit, showing the scoreboard in the background when we were down by 21 at the beginning of the second quarter. Coach Williams tweeted on Saturday, “Different guys step up different nights!” as he recounted the well-rounded contributions of his players. Brothers stood up for brothers, reminding us of key moments that led up to the ultimate shot.
Jeremiah tied the game. Yaya drew the charge. Thomas passed the ball. Evan made the basket. Mr. Hawkey caught it on video. Fans electrified the moment.
The 15-second clip broadcast on SportsCenter Top 10 prompted waves of school spirit. Not only because it captured a game-winning buzzer beater, but also because it was captured by a teacher and alumnus who is present game after game. Because it was celebrated with such gusto by students, coaches, alumni, teachers, and administrators. Because it highlighted the passion of our Spartan team, family, and community that shows up in all seasons.
I marvel at the technology and the breathless pace that carried this story from a coach’s playbook to the court, from an iPad in the gym to a living room TV, then back to a myriad of devices to spread love for the broader, deeper, timeless De Smet Jesuit team.
The basket. The video. The Top 10 broadcast.
It was more than just a shot. By all accounts it was a team effort. And we still can’t get enough of it.
All photos are courtesy of Dirt & Turf Photography.