Khalil Edney, of New Rochelle, an instant celebrity after miracle buzzer-beating shot
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ESPN called Khalil Edney's shot "the craziest ending to a basketball game. Ever." MaxPreps, a popular high school sports website, declared it the "greatest ending in high school basketball history." Duke's Seth Curry, one of college basketball biggest stars, had one word for it: "Wow!"
It didn't take long for social media and national television to react to Sunday's miracle 55-foot championship-winning shot by Edney, a New Rochelle senior forward, who found himself in the kind of spotlight usually reserved for superstars such as LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.
"The Shot" came in the Section 1 Class AA championship game between the Huguenots and Mount Vernon at the County Center in White Plains.
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With his team trailing by two points with 2.9 seconds remaining, Edney, standing underneath his own basket, threw in a long inbound pass that was intercepted near midcourt. But Edney quickly stole a Mount Vernon pass and heaved the desperation shot, which gave his team an improbable 61-60 victory.
"I was just praying for it to go in," Edney told MSGVarsity.com. "That's one of them last-second things you throw up, and it goes in."
New Rochelle fans stormed the County Center court and began celebrating before the officials had definitively ruled whether Edney got his shot off before the buzzer sounded. For a short time, Mount Vernon, believing the shot did not count, was jubilantly jumping up and down, too.
After conferring, the referees ruled that the ball left Edney's hands in time.
The comeback capped a 12-1 New Rochelle run. Joe Clarke led the Huguenots with 30 points.
Not only did the shot catapult New Rochelle into the regional semifinal against Section 4 champion Binghamton on Tuesday at Purchase College, it made Edney an instant celebrity.
His shot was the lead story on ESPN's "SportsCenter" on Sunday night, and he and coach Rasaun Young reportedly will be interviewed by ESPN and ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday. Several variations of the highlight could be found on YouTube, the most popular one racking up more than 153,000 views Sunday night. And Edney also saw his Twitter following triple -- up to more than 1,300 and climbing Sunday night.
It has been a memorable year for New Rochelle High School athletics. The Huguenots' football team won a state championship in November, and the school's cheerleading squad won a national title last month. New Rochelle alum Ray Rice won a Super Bowl championship last month with the Baltimore Ravens, which was celebrated with a rally on the steps of New Rochelle City Hall on Saturday.
"CITY OF CHAMPIONS," Rice, who maintains a close relationship with New Rochelle's athletes, tweeted shortly after the Huguenots' win. "NEW RO, STAND UP. WE RULE WESTCHESTER."