The shot ‘NOT’ heard round the world By ERIC SMITH Winning Edge Skills
Ryan Arcidiacono (center) celebrates with his Villanova teammates after making a clutch pass to set up the winning shot in the National Championship game
It’s a scenario that any human being at any age who plays sports can relate to. It’s the championship game. You’re a senior. A team leader. It’s the biggest game of your life. Time is expiring and the score is tied. You have the ball and a chance to win the game for your team and become the folk hero for your school. This is your time to etch your name in history! As a child you’ve rehearsed this exact scenario over a thousand times in your driveway or on the playground. You’ve done this to put pressure on yourself during the quiet times so that when the real moment comes you’re ready. So what do you do when the moment is yours? You pass the ball?!?!
es, in a fraction of a second you decide to pass the ball to a teammate who then makes that shot and receives all the glory. You make a split second decision that serves the team rather than yourself. In doing so you make someone else the folk hero. You etch someone else’s name in the history books. Why? Because you’re not that little kid any more seeking all the glory. You’ve matured into the consummate ‘team’ player. It’s simply not in your DNA to think that way anymore. You’ve elevated your game to a point where you can read and react. You can make split second decisions that benefit the team not you the individual. This is when sports become beautiful and fun to watch and it’s where championships take place.
This is exactly what happened when Villanova senior guard and team leader Ryan Arcidiacono drove the ball up the floor with less than 5 seconds to play in a tied national championship basketball game on April 4, 2016. He passed up an opportunity to be take a game winning shot because he recognized a teammate trailing him up the floor had a better look at the basket.
Kris Jenkins will go down in history as the folk hero for nailing a clutch shot as time expired to win the national championship for Villanova. To me, however, Ryan Arcidiacono made an even more impressive clutch play by doing something you don’t grow up dreaming about… he simply passed the ball.