SJND Pilot’s Full-Court Shot Goes Viral
St. Joseph Notre Dame (SJND) senior Temidayo Yussuf time as a basketball player for the Pilots reached a new pinnacle Friday, Jan. 24 against El Cerrito. It wasn’t because he had another 30-point game or because he recorded another double-double, it’s because he went to a place usually reserved for professional ball players like Lebron James and Kobe Bryant; he went viral.
The odds appeared to be bleak for the Pilots in the final ten seconds of the contest against the Gauchos, one of the best basketball teams in California. The Pilots were down 59-55 with 9.2 seconds left in the game. A Gaucho free throw by Anthony Sullen extended the ir lead to 60-55. SJND’ Jade Smith then marched down the court and hit a three-pointer to close the gap to 60-58. The Pilots immediately fouled Jalen Walton to preserve the clock; however there was just 0.6 seconds left. Walton made the first free throw to make it a 61-58 game.
The Pilots only hope to extend the game depended on Walton missing the next free throw, which he did. With no time to call a timeout or dribble, Yussuf sprung into action. He grabbed the rebound and flung the ball nearly 80 feet toward his own basket in one motion. The ball banked in sending the players and fans into chaos.
Dozens of SJND fans rushed the court even though the shot only tied the game at 61 and sent the contest into overtime. It took several minutes to clear the court of the jubilant fans so the referees could continue the game. After the miraculous shot, the Pilots were not able to keep the momentum going, as they were outscored 10-3 in overtime and lost 71-64. However, the shot that beat the clock will be remembered for a very long time. To view the play, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qOuJ9Zv-bo.
The Pilots got out to a quick start in the game. They led 17-6 at the end of the first period. But the Gauchos stormed back to tie the game at 26 at the half. El Cerrito outscored the Pilots 15-14 in the third period, while the Pilots bested the Gauchos 21-20 in the fourth period. The 6’ 7" Yussuf is not some trick shot magician; he’s a solid player and the undisputed leader of the team. As a senior, Yussuf leads the team in points and rebounds per game. Yussuf has been a member of the Pilots’ varsity team since his freshman season. Yussuf’s strong play earned him several Division I basketball scholarship offers and he accepted an offer to attend Long Beach State University last summer.
The Pilots have won two straight games since the El Cerrito game. They beat St. Mary’s of Albany 60-39 on Wednesday, Jan. 29 and beat Bentley of Lafayette 53-31 on Saturday, Feb. 1. The Pilots are now 18-5 on the season as of Tuesday, Feb. 4 and 5-2 in the Tri-County Athletic League. The Pilots will wrap up its regular season against St. Patrick/St. Vincent of Vallejo tomorrow at home.