Inspirational Assist: Cancer Survivor Hits Buzzer Beater

Buzzer beater winning shots from half-court are cause for celebration. This story has that and a lot more.

Last year, Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School was taking on archrival Mount Airy in a high school basketball match-up in North Carolina.

Bishop McGuinness’ coach, as a way to motivate his players, indicated that the match would be a “Dedication Game” for his players. Each player was to dedicate the game to a special person or special people in his life. A dedication ball was signed with each player using it to draw inspiration.

Cancer survivor Spencer Wilson hits the winning shot
Cancer survivor Spencer Wilson hits the winning shot

Spencer Wilson, a 17 year-old at the time, indicated that he’d be dedicating the game to Josh Rominger, who lost his battle with cancer the previous year. Spencer had come to known Josh because he had experienced his own fight with cancer. Just 3 years prior, Spencer’s doctors had given him just 6 months to live. A two-time cancer survivor, Spencer had really related to Josh.

When the dedication game came around, Spencer remembered his friend. He sent an email to Josh’s mother noting what an important role Josh had played in his life.

Then, it came time to play the game. As with many archrivals, games between them are close.

Bishop McGuinness was trailing by one point with Mount Airy shooting one more free throw and just seconds on the clock. The Mount Airy free throw shooter purposely missed the second free throw in hopes of giving his opponents no time to set up a play.

The long rebound was passed on to Spencer who launched a desperation heave from half-court. Lo and behold, the shot banked in giving Bishop McGuinness a 84-82 overtime win.

Spencer, who indicated that a day doesn’t go by without him thinking about Josh, had more reason to think of him after the miraculous shot. Spencer, and perhaps others associated with the team, must have wondered if the assist came from somewhere above the court.

Watch Steve Hartman’s “On the Road” coverage of this inspirational story.

Inspirational Assist: Cancer Survivor Hits Buzzer Beater


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