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High school player goes from zero to hero after incredible 70-foot buzzer beater

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Just seconds after missing two free throws that would have tied the game, Ardsley High School senior Julian McGarvey made the shot of his life, and possibly the shot of the year, to not only win the game, but the New York State Section 1 Class A championship.

It’s the ultimate goat to GOAT story in the ultimate setting — a state championship game.

You just have to see it to believe it.

With 3.9 seconds left in Saturday’s contest and Ardsley trailing Tappan Zee High School by a score of 52-50, McGarvey had a chance to tie the game, but missed both free throws. The first miss was on him. Then his coach, Sean Cappiello, called a timeout and told him to purposely miss the second, according to the Lower Hudson Journal News.

After the miss, Tappan Zee rebounded and Ardsley immediately fouled. Since it was not yet a bonus situation, Tappan Zee inbounded the ball under Ardsley’s basket.

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Cappiello wanted one of his players to have a chance to steal the ball and throw up a last-second prayer, so he put McGarvey deep, based on the fact that he is a safety on the football team. If Tappan Zee tried to throw it downcourt, he wanted a safety back to intercept, and that’s exactly what McGarvey did.

It should also be noted that McGarvey also plays quarterback on the football team. In fact, he signed a letter of intent to attend Marist College, a Division I school.

You can see by this game-winning buzzer beater that McGarvey does indeed have a quarterback’s arm.


McGarvey caught the long inbound pass over his head, Willie Mays-style. He appeared to bobble the ball a bit and stumbled, but then he grabbed it, planted his feet and hurled the ball toward the basket. The ball traveled almost 70 feet and dropped through the net.

Thanks to the miracle basket, Ardsley won 52-51. Not a bad way to end your high school basketball career.

Was this the craziest buzzer beater you've ever seen?


The video of his incredible shot has gone viral, and McGarvey was even interviewed on ESPN.


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“At one moment it looks like the whole world was ending and I’m about to start bawling on the court because I just missed the free throws to win the game for my team,” McGarvey, who had 11 points in the game, told the Journal News. “And then they throw one down half court, I catch it, stumble a little bit, throw it as I’m falling back and it found the bottom of the net.”

“I’d say the quarterback arm helped a bit,” he said. “Throw it up high and let your receiver catch up to it. This time I hit the spot — right in the bottom of the net.”

Not surprisingly, he was named the tournament MVP.

“It’s the greatest moment of my life,” McGarvey said after the game. “I want to break down and cry but I don’t want to do it on camera.”

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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