Third-grader’s half-court heave might be most entertaining buzzer-beater of the year

Cameron Smith

With state tournaments finishing across the country, great buzzer-beaters and dunks are all the rage. Yet none may be as terrific as the one you see below, from a third-grade basketball game in Keyes Oklahoma.

As first reported by the KOBI and KOTI NBC affiliates in Medford and Klamath Falls, Okla., Austin Worthen nailed a trey from just beyond midcourt during his team's victory in an elementary school basketball tournament on Saturday.

[Related: Christian Laettner's shot among memorable tourney buzzer-beaters in NCAA history]

While Worthen's shot came from a fairly typical buzzer-beater distance, it wasn't delivered in a traditional way at all, thanks to Worthen's diminutive size. Rather, the third-grader put his entire body into his baseball-style heave, which then banked in through the net to close out the third quarter of his team's 25-4 victory.

As is the case with many buzzer-beaters, the hysteria set off by Worthen's bucket was at least as entertaining as the shot itself. The shooter himself went racing around the court in near delirium while his coach exploded on the sideline as if he had just won the lottery himself.

Of course, given the odds of a third-grader actually hitting a shot like Worthen's, those celebrations were probably worthwhile. And in Worthen's case, they might even be overdue; the elementary school student's father told KOBI that his son has practiced that identical half-court heave as many as a thousand times.

For once in a game, the shot went in. And then there was much rejoicing.

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