A Shot That Never Fades

January 6, 2010
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“It wasn’t about me, it was about the team,” Steve W., 58-years-old.

Sure enough he can still date back to his high-school days; being the first sophomore at Menominee Falls to ever start on the Varsity basketball team.

“As a 5’10”, 126 pound shooting guard, I was beat-up and thrown down,” he says. “And there was nothing I could do about it.”

He says, “His coach said ‘toughen up, it’s how they treat all the new guys.’”

“I wasn’t intimated—it’s what I expected from him.”

With his varsity debut came the butterflies. But these wouldn’t last.

“On a court full of seniors, the crowd expected a lot out of the underclassman. But it was never about the crowd, I just loved the game.”

He grabbed the opening tip-off and bolted to the rim. Off to a quick start, Menominee Falls took an early lead. But the team started to fade towards the end of the fourth quarter. Trailing by two with four seconds left. And an undecided coach put the ball under his youngest player’s control.

He says, “His coach said ‘we’re going for the win; let’s see what you’re made of…’”

And with a quick pull-up jump-shot and a silky smooth release, Steve knocked down a three with no time left. This put the crowd on their feet and the other team in frenzy. Final score: 59-58.

“This meant the world to me, for my coach to trust me with the final shot when the game was on the line,” Steve says. “I think I made it because of him. This was one of the greatest moments for me because I was able to earn respect from my team.”

But this wasn’t the end. Steve ended his career at Menominee Falls after three Varsity seasons. With record numbers at the end of his career, he can truly be called the “Big Man on Campus.” He won’t ever forget these memories because he still holds tight to his headlines from the Menominee Falls High School newspaper.

“The game was never about me or my stats,” he says. “I just wanted to help my team win and that’s what I did. The hardships only made me a better player in the end.”

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