10-11’s Dick Janda said something in 1980 that I still hold true to this day. Outside of Husker football, the Boys State Basketball Tournament is the second biggest sporting event in the state of Nebraska.
“Whoa,” you say. What about the College World Series which begins another two week run in Omaha this weekend?
Nope. While nationally, it’s arguably our most prestigious event, for what it means to the state both historically and culturally, Boys State Basketball is numero uno……(behind Big Red football, of course.)
I could go on, but the real reason for this blog is to share with you a true gem from State Basketball that I had never seen before and perhaps the greatest moment in the history of the nearly 100 year old event. Fellow radio broadcaster and former state championship winning player Jeff Motz brought this to my attention Thursday. The famed “Miracle on Vine Street” play that won Lincoln East the 1971 Class A title is now online at You Tube.
A quick review: East and Papillion were tied at 72 with :02 left at the old NU Coliseum. East had the ball to inbound under their own basket. Jack Ball threw a long baseball pass into the East frontcourt that sailed over the head of Copple and nearly went out of bounds. Rick Samuelson alertly dove for the errant pass and saved it into the hands of Copple who threw up a runner from about 18 feet away that won the game.
“The Miracle” along with Wahoo’s famous 1989 “Richter Roar” dramatic rally against Pius X are mentioned most when it comes to great state tournament moments.
It’s a great piece of Nebraska sports history that I thought was lost forever. Now preserved on the worldwide web for all to see…..one more time. Enjoy!