Monte Morris had a heck of a weekend. He entered the state finals shortly after being told that he was selected as the Hal Shram Michigan Mr. Basketball. He was one win away from a second consecutive Michigan High School Activities Association Class C state title.
He had the flu.
Naturally, that last aspect of Morris’ weekend made the earlier parts less enjoyable. Usually, it would rule a player out of a game. Yet Morris didn’t give up, instead channeling his inner Michael Jordan to lead Flint (Mi.) Beecher High to a state crown in a narrow, 40-39 victory against Laingsburg (Mi.) High, as covered by MLive.com and the Detroit Free Press, among other outlets.
Fittingly, Morris was the man who made the difference for Beecher. The senior Iowa State signee scored a game-high 16 points and sealed the victory with a blocked shot in the closing seconds that would have won the title for Laingsburg (you can see plenty of great images from the game right here).
According to the Detroit Free Press, Morris then retreated to the bathroom, where he vomited four times while reeling with exhaustion from the game.
"I told myself it was a mind-set, I just had to finish it," Morris told the Free-Press. "I would regret it the rest of my life if I didn't finish the game. I just wanted to go out without any doubts. … The pain was bad, and I was woozy."
Regardless of how he felt, Morris made sure that he was walking home with another title. This time, he clinched his crown with a block that was inspired by the last time Beecher didn’t win the title, when Morris was a sophomore.
"That was the same exact rim we were on and the same exact end of the floor my sophomore year when I didn't make the block," he said. "I watched the play, and the guy laid it up and we lost. I felt like I need to make a play. I told myself if I was ever in that situation again, I was going to make a play on the ball."
He made the play, and then he made a beeline out of the gym, as soon as he could. Morris had completed his date with destiny, now it was time for a date with a toilet bowl and a nice warm bed, for approximately 12 hours. The sleep of a champion.