Trinity has its very own Jerome Lane

Published 12:07 am Sunday, January 24, 2010

NATCHEZ — Most people probably don’t recognize the name Jerome Lane.

I’m sure if I asked 100 sports fans on the street who Jerome Lane is, a vast majority would give me a blank stare.

But if I followed the name Jerome Lane with the exclamation “Send it in Jerome!” many more people would probably at least remember what Lane is known for, if not his actual name.

That’s because Lane, who was a college basketball standout for the Pittsburgh Panthers before playing five years in the NBA, is best known for shattering a backboard with a one-handed dunk in a 1988 game against Providence, prompting ESPN announcer Bill Raftery to utter the famous phrase.

Lane’s dunk is on ESPN’s list of the “100 Greatest Sports Highlights” and several videos of Lane’s jam are on YouTube.

So why do I bring Lane’s name up over 20 years after his shattering performance took place?

Well, because Trinity Episcopal had a similar smashing performance this week.

During practice this week, a very strong anonymous Saints player got a little too strong and shattered the backboard during a dunk attempt.

That action caused Trinity to move Friday’s home games against Chamberlain-Hunt and Saturday’s home games against Brookhaven Academy to the road.

It will also cost the school some money to replace the backboard that was shattered by the overzealous teen.

Now I didn’t see the dunk in question, so I don’t know if it was just a normal dunk or if he hung on the rim.

And I’m also not advocating hanging on the rim after dunking in an attempt to rip down the goal.

But if it was a perfectly legal dunk, what a story he will now have to tell his friends for the rest of his life.

Young man, you now join the likes of Darryl Dawkins, Shaquille O’Neal, Darvin Ham, Lane and Robert “Tractor” Traylor.

I’ve seen several backboards shatter in college and NBA games. But I’ve never heard of a high school player sending a rim to the floor.

Most high school players, especially at the Class 1A private school level, can’t even dunk a basketball at all, much less with the authority to shatter the backboard.

So anonymous Trinity player, you may have to run laps or do extra springs as punishment for shattering the backboard.

You may even have to help foot the bill to replace the goal.

But just think of those things as the necessary evils of your accomplishment.

Those temporary things will pass.

The really cool story you will now be able to tell for the rest of your days will stay with you.

Just make sure you don’t start making a habit of it, though.

Those backboards and rims can get expensive.

Just ask the University of Pittsburgh.