So there's 2.9 seconds left in the Oklahoma class 3A boys basketball quarterfinals. Millwood is playing Hugo, and Hugo's up 37-36. They've got the ball. They just need to run out the clock and they'll advance to the semis.
Hugo inbounds the ball to Trey Johnson, their junior guard. He's only scored two points all night.
And then Trey makes a mistake: He catches the ball, and in a moment of confusion, thinking he's just putting an exclamation point on his team's victory, accidentally scores on his own basket. For the other team.
At the buzzer.
Final score: Millwood 38, Hugo 37.
Trey Johnson is no doubt crushed today. But he can take heart in this: mistakes happen. They happen to great players.
Like Chris Webber. Here's the biggest mistake of his athletic career, in the 1993 national championship game versus North Carolina.
After this game, he went on to have a great NBA career, once averaging 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists in a season. (And he almost certainly would've won a title had the NBA not fixed Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals in the Lakers
And here's Fred Brown. In 1982, with Georgetown down just 1 in the title game, he passed the ball to the wrong team.
What happened to Brown? Two years later, he was the captain of a Georgetown team that won the national championship.
What about Isiah Thomas? It's 1987, the Eastern Conference Finals. He inbounded the ball… straight to Larry Bird, who passed it for a layup. The Celtics won the game and then the series.
Heck, even ENTIRE teams make mistakes. This week, the New Orleans Hornets — professional basketball players — forgot what basket they were supposed to guard and let Kobe Bryant get an easy layup in a close game.
So Trey: Yeah, you goofed. This one time. It happens.
But you've got another year left. Another year to make a run in the state tournament. A chance to prove what you're capable of. The pain will go away with time. Play with it. The greats all have to deal with losses.
It happens. It's okay.
You'll be back next year.