It’s a moment we all practiced while shooting hoops in our driveways growing up – the clock is winding down and the game is on the line. You dribble around while saying “3…2…1” before heaving up the game-winning shot. Most of us will never experience that moment anywhere other than the driveway, but one Evansville high school athlete is going viral with his real-life game-winning shot. It is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen on a basketball court, at any level – luckily, it was caught on video.

Let me tell you about the young man who delivered this unbelievable moment. His name is Blake Herdes and he is a junior at Evansville Central High School. Blake is no stranger to the big stage or the big game. He is the school’s varsity quarterback, a pitcher on the baseball team, and (obviously) a stud on the basketball court. It is a pretty impressive resume, especially considering he still has another year of high school.

The clip isn't very long, so let me set the scene for you. On Thursday, December 30th, the Central Bears hosted Gibson Southern High School. The game is tied with just a few seconds left in the fourth period. Blake grabs a rebound after a missed Gibson Southern shot and, right before time expires, he throws the ball nearly 80 feet to sink the game-winner right at the buzzer.

Take a look at the footage and try to tell me it doesn’t belong on ESPN’s top plays. I’m of the opinion that it belongs on every sportscast in the country.

Here it is from another angle - gives you a better idea of the distance.

What makes this so extraordinary…

  • The sheer distance. Blake shot from the opposing team’s free throw line – about 80 feet away from his basket.
  • The situation. The shot would certainly still be impressive if it happened at the end of the first, second, or third period, but this shot came at the end of the game – and it was to win the game. There was a lot at stake.
  • The shot itself. Blake really didn’t ‘shoot’ it, as you would envision – he actually jumped up and threw it like a baseball, with the other team all around him. It’s just a ridiculous feat.

I asked Blake to tell me what it felt like to make such an amazing shot, and how it compares to his other big sports achievements. Here's what he said...

It was one of the wildest individual moments in my sports career. I have had great team moments, wins, plays, all of that, but that was the craziest thing I have ever done on my own. It all happened so fast, I was just worried about rebounding the ball and going into overtime and then I saw 2 seconds on the clock. In my head, I told myself "why not" and let the ball fly. As crazy as it sounds I knew it was in the whole way. I began to backpedal and I yelled "game time" and when I saw it fall I didn't know what to do. I ran around jumping up and down, then ran towards our student section to celebrate with everyone. It was so wild, and I don't think I will ever do something like that again. It's one of those moments you joke about, but never think will actually happen. I'm thankful it happened, and love seeing all the publicity it got. But to me, the best part was the fact we got a much-needed win.

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Blake’s basketball skills shouldn’t come as a total surprise though – he’s got basketball in his genes. Blake’s dad is Kevin Herdes, who was not too shabby (understatement) on the hardwood back in the day. Kevin played for coach Bruce Pearl at the University of Southern Indiana from 1996-2000.

LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.

 

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