GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Just outside Greensboro, N.C., Bishop McGuinness boys' basketball team is coming off what may be the most remarkable game in school history.
"I still can't believe that even happened," one player says.
"I felt like there was no one who could stop us,"
The game was against their archrivals, Mount Airy High School, but to fully appreciate what happened here, you first need to know how Coach Josh Thompson prepared them for this night.
It all started a few days earlier with an old ball and a
gold Sharpie. Coach Thompson told each player to pick someone to dedicate the
game to -- could be an uncle, a grandpa, one kid picked his parents. They all
joined the exercise, but safe to say no one took it more seriously than junior
guard Spencer Wilson. He picked his friend Josh Rominger.
Spencer and Josh were two great friends with one lousy thing in common: they both had cancer. The difference was Spencer beat his, and Josh didn’t. He died nine months ago.
Before the game, Spencer wrote a letter to Josh's mom, explaining what they were doing and why he would be playing for Josh.
"His joy illuminated the room, and it was always apparent to me that he was special," Spencer wrote. "Just wanted to let you know the impact your son has on my life still to this day. I will never forget him. Play for Josh."
"I read it and cried," says Josh's mom, Denna
Rominger. "They just had that bond. Nobody else knew how Josh felt except
"During timeouts, when we touched the ball, I found where I wrote 'Josh,' and I looked for that," Spencer says. "Put my hand on it every single time."
Spencer thought of his friend, who he says "meant a whole lot to me."
Which brings us to the end of that game. With two seconds
left on the clock, Bishop down by a point and their archrivals at the free-throw
line, Bishop needed a miracle. And some say that's exactly what they got.
In the official record book, Spencer Wilson will get credit for that remarkable Hail Mary. But the boys here at Bishop believe Spencer's friend Josh deserves at least an assist. And no matter what you believe, you've got to score one for friendship.
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