Almost everyone involved in the men’s college basketball tournament, it seems, cherishes a “One Shining Moment” memory.
For Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert, what stands out is watching the three-minute reel on TV as a high school student after watching a buzzer batsman carry Villanova to the 2016 NCAA Title.
“The dream,” he said, “started from there. “
Usually filled with big 3-pointers – like the one Kispert’s teammate Jalen Suggs put in at the end of overtime to beat UCLA in the Final Four – and dunks, hugs and slaps, celebrations on the pitch and in the locker room, tears on the sidelines and in the stands, the video was to return to March Madness on Monday night after Gonzaga’s invincibility against Baylor for the championship.
Twelve months ago, there was no “One Shining Moment” at all, nor a tournament, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Associated Press asked the players and coaches participating in the tournament – as well as the man responsible for the famous song – about a phenomenon that has existed for more than 30 years.
THE BALL IS PUNCHED …
Baylor coach Scott Drew calls the video “one of the things you grow up on”.
“You want to be on it,” Drew said. “You want to be in the song.”
His younger brother, Grand Canyon coach Bryce Drew, talks about sneaking out of his bedroom to check on past championship games and the highlights that followed.
AND YOU ARE HERE
Scott Drew was his father’s assistant in Valparaiso in 1998 when Bryce won a few cameos in that year’s tournament closing video by hitting “The Shot” for the Crusaders against Ole Miss.
Now that they’re both head coaches, they use the edited recaps to match the lyrics to motivate their players.
Iona goalkeeper Asante Gist said “some people got emotional” when his team coach Rick Pitino played the well-known music “every day before practice”.
Villanova coach Jay Wright said the videos showing his team’s two winning performances were useful as a recruiting tool.
Is Bryce Drew showing his team his own claim to “The Shining” glory?
– No, he said with a smile. “If that didn’t happen five minutes ago on Twitter, they don’t care.”
YOU RUN FOR YOUR LIFE
Try asking the author of the title song, David Barrett, which version – he sang first; Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross, Jennifer Hudson, Ne-Yo performed others – this is the best, and you’ll hear a warm laugh.
“I don’t know if you have kids,” Barrett said over the phone. “Do you have a favorite child? “
Barrett is happy to share part of the story: he wrote it after explaining the poetry of basketball to a waitress at a Michigan bar; it was part of an eight song recording called “Around 2 am” which he describes as “arguably one of the most depressing records ever made”; the opening line was almost “The gun is going …”; CBS originally intended to perform the song after a Super Bowl.
Instead, it became a staple at the end of the men’s basketball tournament (ESPN plays a video, along with other music, after it aired the College Girls’ Hoop Championship). As millions of people watch from home, the winners see their “One Shining Moment” in the arena.
Barrett says he met Mateen Cleaves at an airport years after the point guard helped Michigan State win the 2000 title.
Cleaves recounted how in his hometown of Flint, children played hula hoops in a church.
“After everyone was gone he would sit there and sing ‘One Shining Moment’ and work on his game,” Barrett says. “It was really moving for me.”
YOU ARE A SHOOTING STAR
Colorado goalie McKinley Wright IV says the edit “always gives me flashbacks and chills”, especially if he catches pal Tyus Jones screaming after a 3-point shot at the end of the final victory of Duke in 2015.
Would it matter if Wright appeared in Monday’s version?
“Of course,” he said. “I mean, it’ll mean a lot if there’s anything to show my kids someday.”
Or, as Hartford goalkeeper Traci Carter explains, making the cut means “you are solidified as a legend.”
AND EVERY YEAR NO ONE KNOWS WHAT YOU WORKED ON
West Virginia Guard Miles McBride is familiar with Barrett’s tune. He’s heard it countless times – not just with his ears, but between his ears.
“Every kid in the yard,” McBride says, “dreams of that last hit of the ringtone… and just hearing that song play over and over in your head.”
BUT NOW IT SHOWS
CBS executive producer Harold Bryant acknowledges that the song, written in 1986, “is not the most modern song,” but believes the key to its appeal is “it arouses those memories and emotions.”
The video is mostly compiled by three people from the network, with suggestions for clips from other people, making it a work in progress.
“You accumulate it over the course of the tournament,” said Bryant. “If you tried to wait until last week, you would hurry. “
Her favorite moment?
“The piccolo player cries in the stands (in 2015). It was a blow that hit me, ”he says. “Or there is always a little child.”
With fewer fans and no student or cheerleader groups, he says this year is “a bit more of a challenge”.
Yet that sentiment of Shaka Smart, the coach who took VCU to the 2011 Final Four and recently left Texas for Marquette, is true: “You don’t want the song to end because when the song ends, the song ends. season is over. “
A BRILLIANT MOMENT, EVERYTHING IS ONLINE
In 1997, Josh Pastner was a freshman on the Arizona team that won the title and, as a result, played a pivotal role in synthesizing this year’s ups and downs.
Not that Pastner himself played a central role, mind you.
“We don’t need to tell anyone, but I’ve never been to games,” the Georgia Tech coach now says. “But I was hopping on the sidelines, running like crazy over there, after we won.”
And so, in a way, he had his “Moment”.
“If you’re into basketball and you’re in high school or college,” he says, “you grow up with that song.”
A BRILLIANT MOMENT, THERE FROZEN IN TIME
Sometimes it’s a win that gives people their “One Shining Moment”.
Sometimes it’s a loss.
Either way, it can be exciting knowing that your team lives off of an often-watched video.
Purdue goalie Eric Hunter Jr. enjoyed watching the Boilermakers spend some screen time two years ago thanks to their Sweet 16 victory over Tennessee and overtime loss to champion Virginia.
“You know some of those moments will be in this video,” Hunter said, “and it’s pretty cool to see each other.”
Did you go look?
“Oh, yeah, sure. I definitely did, ”Hunter said. ” On break. Screenshot.
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