Plainfield (N.J.) High's boys basketball team had the ball for an inbounds behind the basket with fewer than two seconds remaining in one of the biggest games of the still-young New Jersey season. Trailing perennial national power Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick High School, 65-64 with 1.2 seconds on the clock, the team's designated inbounds passer -- Diijon Allen-Jordan -- found himself in a tough situation; with the play clock winding down, every designed outlet for Allen-Jordan's pass was covered, with the St. Patrick defender assigned to him also clogging up the lane with his back turned toward him.
What happened next was ripped straight off the playground, or maybe even a Hollywood movie. As shown in the NJ.com video above, the senior tried the gutsiest move he knew: He bounced the ball off St. Patrick star DeAndre Bembry's back, grabbed the live ball and sunk the following layup as the final buzzer sounded to give Plainview an unlikely 66-65 victory and send the home fans into absolute delirium.
"It just so happened that the guy [Bembry] turned his back to me so I threw it off his back instead of throwing a turnover," Allen-Jordan told the Newark Star-Ledger. "It wasn't designed. All of sudden it came to me.
"It all came down to football, being a quarterback. You got to pick your team up. Being a quarterback, it helps me mentally."
A season spent as a quarterback might help, but having the guts to try a Harlem Globetrotters stunt like bouncing the inbounds play to oneself off an opponent's back with one of the season's biggest games on the line still requires a remarkable amount of courage and self-assuredness.
The odds of an off-the-back pass going directly back to the inbounds man make the tactic far from a guarantee, with the need to put a shot on basket in a second or less turn the whole gambit into a bit of a basketball Hail Mary, to stick with the quarterback theme.
Incredibly, it worked for Allen-Jordan, providing a truly memorable finish for an enormous early season faceoff.
"Very few players in the state or the country would have had the heads-up with the circumstance and the pressure he was under to make that play," said St. Patrick coach Chris Chavannes.
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