Duke’s Grant Hill-to-Christian Laettner buzzer beater to top Kentucky in the 1992 NCAA Tournament remains one of the most memorable moments in NCAA basketball history, if not the history of basketball altogether. Now a Michigan high school team can stake its own claim to that legacy after miraculously pulling off a carbon copy of the Laettner miracle on Tuesday night.
As first reported by Western Michigan Fox affiliate WXMI, the Hudsonville (Mi.) High boys basketball team forced overtime in a Class A regional semifinal playoff game thanks to a near exact duplicate of the Hill-to-Laettner buzzer beater, which was pulled off against Forest Hills (Mi.) High.
With 1.5 seconds remaining in the game, Hudsonville trailed, 54-52, inbounding the ball from under their own basket (please note that the scoreboard on the video above featuring a 54-54 score was incorrect). With few other options, Hudsonville designed a play to get the ball down in a reasonable shooting position by the only means possible: A Hail Mary of a downcourt pass.
The prep hoopster pulling the trigger on that pass was Brent Hibbits. Incredibly, just like Hill before him, Hibbits’ pass landed right in the hands of his designated teammate, Cody Stuive.
Right on cue, like Laettner did, Stuive swiveled, put up a turnaround and drilled a jumper, tying the game and sending it into extra time. And after that comeback, there was no way that Hudsonville was going to let a win slip away, with the Eagles emerging from the overtime period with a 64-60 win.
Just about the only difference between Laettner's original buzzer beater and Stuive's shot was the direction in which they turned; Laettner rolled to his right (as you can see just above), Stuive to his left.
“I just freaked out,” Cody Stuive told WXMI. “I just ran to the bench and was giving people hugs. Then I realized that now we have to win in overtime.”
Of course, they did win, which gave Hibbits a chance to go back and look over one of the more glorious single plays in Michigan prep hoops history.
“My Dad and I are huge Duke fans,” Hibbitts told WXMI. “So last night when I got back home, my dad brought that up and I thought it was just like it.”
Now Hibbits and his teammates will just have to wait and see if they can follow Duke’s lead and win a title. They return to the court on Wednesday with a chance to win a regional title against Muskegon (Mi.) High and advance to the state round.
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