Catch Me If You Can

Today’s issue is all about pure joy.

In basketball, there are few more joyful moments than the jubilation a team experiences after a game-winning shot.

We’ve covered some ways to celebrate game-winning shots in this newsletter before, but one of my favorites remains perhaps the simplest: running away from the rest of your team as they chase you for a wild pile-up.

Let’s pop into three of my favorites, starting with one that just happened THIS WEEK.

Charlie Moore cashes it from halfcourt

My alma mater, the Miami Hurricanes, are quietly having a good season. This is noteworthy because they have not been good for many years.

Part of the reason they’re good is thanks to Charlie Moore, who had already played at three schools before transferring to the Hurricanes. He moved from Cal to Kansas to DePaul, and now down to Miami.

In essence, he’s traveled across the entire country to play basketball. And now, he’s traveled all across the court (but in the fun, celebratory way, not in the rules violation way) after sinking a halfcourt shot to beat Virginia Tech. AND NO ONE CAN CATCH HIM.

I made a halfcourt shot once during a high school basketball game. We were the visiting team so the crowd briefly sat in stunned silence. However, they quickly remembered their team had been winning by 14, so my basket only made it an 11-point victory for the other side.

Still, that moment felt good.

Jordan Poole saves my bracket

There are a couple of sports-related things that literally no one besides you cares about. One is your fantasy football team. Another is any kind of video game accomplishment. A third is your March Madness bracket.

Have I talked about all three, at length, with more than a handful of people? You betcha.

This is an especially good running around moment because of the heartbreak on the other end. In the tournament, you see a lot of players being sad on the floor. And I get it—this might be the last time they ever play organized basketball.

That’s pretty heart-wrenching when you’ve given so many years of your life to the game. Throw a camera shoved in your face and, well…I’d cry, too.

But it’s overshadowed by the excitement of the team that’s still playing.

There’s also some mystery to this moment because after running around for a bit, Poole gets cornered. He’s surrounded by teammates, who are ready to pounce on him in celebration.

The camera quickly cuts to a Houston player, face-down on the floor. By the time it returns to the Michigan celebration, Poole is once again running away from his teammates.

What happened?! Did they part like the Red Sea for him? I need to know!

By making this shot, Poole kept Michigan’s season alive. They eventually reached the championship game, where they lost to Villanova—still the only time I have successfully picked the correct champion and runner-up in nearly 20 years of filling out brackets.

Poole went on to play for the Golden State Warriors and will have made more than $6.1 million in salary by the end of this year. I won my bracket and made more than $610. Basically on equal ground.

Forget running, let’s walk

Back in 2017, Mississippi State played UConn in the NCAA Women’s Final Four. The Huskies had won 111 consecutive games.

Can you imagine doing anything successfully 111 times in a row?

Even if you asked me to blink 111 times without fail, I’d get so caught up in my head that in the mid-90s I’d probably sneeze and flip an eyelid inside out or something. It’s nerve-wracking!

Yet Mississippi State guard Morgan William wanted to take the shot to knock off the undefeated UConn dragon.

And when it went in, she didn’t run away from her teammates. She walked like a cool customer, yelling in victory. Her teammates eventually catch her (again, because she was moving at, like, 0.04 miles per hour) and bring her to the ground, and it’s awesome.

One of her teammates even falls over before reaching her, because when you’re extremely happy, sometimes you can’t even stay upright. I LOVE IT.

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