Glendale (Ariz.) Deer Valley High manager Jose Meraz, a special needs student at the school, drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in the only action of his basketball career, setting off a celebration that has garnered national attention for all the right reasons.
“He’s the most popular kid in school. About 12 cheerleaders were around him, hugging him and kissing him," Deer Valley coach Jed Dunn told the Arizona Republic following his team's 77-37 blowout victory. "He started doing a dance. In the locker room, the players were chanting, 'Jose.' He said he tried to be like LeBron James and Michael Jordan."
According to Richard Obert's game story, Dunn asked Meraz to put on a jersey and enter the final minutes of the blowout. He had never appeared in an organized basketball game before. The opposing coach, Phoenix (Ariz.) Goldwater's Jesus Flores, who was a welcome participant in the inspiring events, then reportedly called a timeout he didn't have, intentionally drawing a technical foul, but Meraz missed both free throw attempts. He also missed his first 3-point try, but his final attempt at the buzzer banked home.
— Deer Valley StuGo (@DeerValleyStuGo) January 7, 2014
Naturally, the joyous occasion made the local NBC affiliate's nightly news, and anchor Mark Curtis called his viewers to action, hoping to land Meraz on SportsCenter's Top 10 (h/t USA Today). Deer Valley's student government picked up the #GetJoseOnESPN hashtag, and the station came through, airing his buzzer-beating triple on Tuesday.
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