Lee enjoying 82 feet of glory

Published 3:08 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2009

LeBron James, take a seat, there’s a new 80-foot shot king.

Spain Park guard Jake Lee has taken call after call and his name has circled the globe since Saturday night.

“These past few days have been great,” said Lee, whose 82-foot shot was broadcast across ESPN’s SportsCenter and CNN, not to mention probably every newscast in the nation by week’s end.

The next call may be Powerade, who featured James hitting 80-90-foot shots in a 2005 commercial with the help of a top production studio. Only Lee didn’t need special effects, just three seconds and a strong arm of a back-up quarterback and shortstop.

“Let’s cut to the chase, it’s a miracle,” said Spain Park head coach Brian Moon. “I just wanted to have two guys out there that could throw it the distance of the court.”

The new shot heard round the world was an 82-foot buzzer-beater to down Clay-Chalkville on the road, 47-45.

Lee first showed off his arm with a 35-yard pass from the baseline, but Clay-Chalkville’s Matt Cody picked off the inbounds pass. Josh Drum fouled Cody and sent him to the line for three shots with only a second to play and tied, 44-44.

Cody missed the first, made the second and then missed the third, giving Lee his moment.

“It was pretty scary when he got fouled and we knew he was going to shoot three shots. I just wanted a chance to throw it up and see what I could do, and thankfully it went in,” Lee said. “Right when I threw it I just wanted it to be close, but halfway through I could tell it was going pretty straight.”

Moon said he was stunned, just like Clay-Chalkville coach Marty Smith had to be.

“Who would have ever thought that? It’s a miracle that it went in. He could probably do it another 10,000 times and never make it again,” Moon said. “I was waiting for them to rule it off.”

The shot lifted Spain Park to a rebound victory after losing on a last-second shot to rival Hoover on Jan. 6.

“I think it’s going to give us a spark, and hopefully we can turn our season around,” Lee said.

Spain Park (10-12, 2-3) has won Class 6A, Area 10 the past two seasons, but currently sits in fourth place in the area with a trip to Oak Mountain (13-8, 3-2) on Friday. The Jaguars will meet Hoover again Jan. 23 at home for a chance to see if this time a last-second shot will work to their favor in the tight rivalry.

“I saw all of our kids excited for the same thing the other night, and that’s always good. It’s one of those things that brings you together,” Moon said. “After Saturday, anything can happen, so we’re going to look forward to keep plugging away and see what happens.”