Published Date Written by Jim Lewis
Call it fate, karma, or the perfect alignment of the stars. The basketball gods smiled radiantly on John Harper’s teammates in the biggest game of their lives, at the best moment possible, in an arena in, of all places, Buffalo, N.Y.
Harper’s team, from tiny Lebanon Valley College, a school with 950 students, trailed gigantic New York University, a school with 49,000, by 2 points with less than 3 seconds left in the 1994 NCAA Division III championship game. A Lebanon Valley player caught an inbound pass from a teammate and desperately launched it from just inside the 3-point arc toward the basket. The shot was deflected by an opponent, and the carom was grabbed by Harper, who desperately threw it back toward the basket – and missed.
But one of Harper’s teammates, Jason Say, grabbed the rebound of Harper’s missed shot and sank the game-tying basket.