College Basketball Player Hits Game Winning Shot After Learning Dad Has Cancer; Who Is BYU Cougar Guard Craig Cusick?
February 21, 2013 7:41 AM EST
Dozens of stories have plagued college sports this season, with teams switching conferences, NCAA violations expected at several high-profile schools, and personal-conduct stories making headlines, that sometimes it seems easy to forget that there are many terrific, uplifting tales around the country.
Then Brigham Young University's Craig Cusick comes along.
The senior guard put back Matt Carlino’s missed three-pointer with 0.2 seconds remaining to lift BYU to a 70-68 victory over rival Utah State Tuesday. It was the only made field goal for Cusick in the game, but it was important for another reason.
The story would normally be over after the highlight, but what makes Cusick’s different is the fact that just hours before the game-winner, he learned his father, Randy, was diagnosed with cancer, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Randy reportedly collapsed Sunday, and was taken to a hospital, where doctors diagnosed him on Tuesday.
After the game, Cusick did not talk to reporters about his father’s illness, but described the winning play.
"Hard to explain. As a player, you couldn't dream it any better. I was just fortunate. I saw that when Matt shot it that there was a chance that it was going to be a little bit short,” Cusick said. “I ran where I thought it was going to come off, and I was fortunate the ball came to me. It's great that I made the shot, but I have to give credit to my teammates who pulled us through the rest of the way."
Originally from Orem, Utah, the 6-foot-2 Cusick is averaging 4.2 points and 2.3 assists in 19.7 minutes per game this season. Cusick was a star at Orem High School, with 22 points, 6.5 rebounds, five assists per contest during his senior season.
According to the BYU team Web site, Cusick, 25, redshirted at Utah in 2006-2007, and served a mission in London for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Cusick is married and has three sisters and a brother.
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