Buzzer beaters prove these were no miracles
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - My first sports memory came at the age of 6, when I watched my hometown high school win the state tournament after a 60-foot buzzer beater.
Professionals produce these moments all the time. Even college kids are capable.
But when a high school kid hoists a halfcourt hook at the horn that goes in, it's time for a March madness mosh pit. And when a player a few miles away does it one month later from nearly full court, it's time to call timeout and find out what they're teaching these kids in Louisville.
"I shoot regular," Male high school senior Alex Cook said. "But that was like a hook shot. I don't know what I was doing."
In the scramble for a loose ball in a tie game against St. X, Cook plucked the ball away with 1.6 seconds left and improvised a half-hook from half court.
"What's going through your mind as the ball is in the air?" Cook was asked last week. "Are you thinking it's good?"
"I'm thinking it's good," he said. "(It) had trajectory. I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, this has a chance.' Then it goes in. I don't even remember that five seconds, getting tackled. I was in shock."
Double the distance now, with half the time. Ballard's Jake Ramsey only had 0.6 seconds to rebound a missed free throw, wheel around and get his shot off before the buzzer. And it had to go in, from 90 feet, because he was down three points.
"First of all, to get a shot off in .6 seconds is a miracle," a reporter told him. "And it looks like you absolutely practiced it or thought about it ahead of time, 'If it comes off the right side of the rim, here's what I'm gonna do.' But no thought like that?"
Ramsey's response? "No, it didn't run through my head. I was just, as soon as it came off, (thinking), 'I gotta throw it up.' Got it up as quick as I could."
WAVE 3 Sports reporter Brian Winner, whose video capture of Ramsey's improbable shot blew up on social media, had to hustle inside the gym after getting stuck in traffic, fired up his camera, and fixed his lens on his first shot -- Ramsey's.
"Do you practice last second shots?" I asked Cook.
"No, not miracle shots like that," he said.
Ramsey said he practices buzzer-beaters all the time, but they're from half court.
"That's where I get my aim from when I'm shooting," he said. "I didn't really know how much arc (to put on it). I just threw it up, whipped it out
as hard as I could."
Are these guys flukes, or fluent, in the language of clutch? We set up cameras and replicated the same shot, from the same spot, 10 times.
Cook finished with a bunch of near misses, and he made it on his seventh attempt.
"Total luck," he said. "God put that ball on the rim there."
Ramsey was downright scary. His first and second shot were right on the money and somehow bounced out. Remember, he was doing this with two hands, shot-put style, from about 90 feet away. Impressive strength.
"(I'm a) football player," Ramsey said. "I lift weights all the time."
Jake finished 0-for-10, but six of them were so close. As we were wrapping things up, shaking hands, saying goodbye, there were only six-tenths of a second left in our story.
"I swear he just hit it," his coach yelled.
Luckily, we had two cameras still rolling that had been placed on the glass backboards. They captured another Jake Ramsey 90-footer perfectly.
Always remember: Never turn your back on Jake Ramsey and Alex Cook if there's any time left.
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