Gabrielle Gary knows how to make an impression on a potential employer.
A month ago, the McCutcheon sophomore contacted MTC Sports Network in Mulberry about internship possibilities. She had an interview scheduled for Thursday. As luck would have it, she already was well known by the time she walked in the door. Gary's improbable 3-point shot in a 56-36 victory over Lafayette Jeff on Wednesday night was broadcast on mtcsports.net. Through the power of the Internet, it gave Gary far more than 15 minutes of fame. She became a sensation in today's age of social media.
"I don't know any statistics, but if I had to say, it is probably one in a million that this thing went in," Gary said Thursday afternoon. "I tried it at practice this morning and it wasn't even within 10 feet of the rim." The play was rare enough to garner national attention, including ABC's "Good Morning, America" and CBS Sportsline. ESPN has requested permission to use the video in its plays of the week segment on "SportsCenter." It hit sports blogs on the Internet, including The Big Lead. Gary tried to re-create the shot -- words don't do it justice. Watch the video -- three or four times before the Mavericks got on with the normal practice routine Thursday. What began as a Wednesday night with some minor outside-the-norm popularity became a Thursday where the daughter of Greg Gary, a Purdue University assistant men's basketball coach, reconnected with friends among her many places of residence across the United States. Her father is in his second season on Matt Painter's staff. He's coached at Tulane, where he also played, as well as Miami, South Florida, Centenary and, most recently, Duquesne. "People have called me and texted me that I haven't talked to in five years," said Gary, who scored a career-high 24 points, including a 7-for-9 night from the 3-point line, against Lafayette Jeff. After seeing the clip, McCutcheon coach Jeff Knoy wasn't impressed with the shot so much as his team's focus afterward. There were no high fives or looks of disbelief after the score, which put McCutcheon ahead 15-8.
"On the video you can see we didn't really get excited," Knoy said. "Everyone was sprinting back to play defense." Greg Gary didn't hear about the shot until after Purdue's upset of No. 11 Illinois Wednesday night in Mackey Arena. But prior to player introductions he was alerted that his daughter made seven 3-pointers. "I wish I could have seen it, and I'm sure she does too, but it is something you deal with" when you coach college basketball, he said. "I have great kids and a great wife who understand there are times I can be there and times I can't." Gabrielle hopes to follow in her father's footsteps and someday become a college basketball player. Someday, she said she would even like to end up on "SportsCenter." But doing it as a high school sophomore was beyond her wildest imagination. The family's several moves have required adjustments, including new friends, new teachers and new coaches for Gabrielle. "I've been the new girl about nine times now," she said. "The school part is getting easier. Basketball has always been easy for me. The gym is comfortable to me. A gym looks the same and the basket looks the same everywhere you go."