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McVeigh reflects on magical moment

27 Mar
4 mins read

Jack McVeigh has reflected on the moment he found the ball in his hands ahead of his last-gasp miracle winner.

Jack McVeigh created his own moment of NBL history on Sunday night. He rose above the defence to hit one of the greatest game-winners in the history of the NBL and put the JackJumpers in the driver’s seat for the Championship Series.

Tasmania looked all but dead and buried at one-point down with only eight seconds remaining, but a poor inbound play from Melbourne gave the JackJumpers the chance to take the game, and McVeigh took the opportunity.

He shot the ball from just past half-court to silence the Melbourne crowd almost at the buzzer, and while United had a half-court heave of their own in the dying moments of the game, McVeigh proved to be the decider.

He spoke to SEN about what was going through his head in those final seconds before the shot.

“I caught it and I always have that moment of excitement of ‘yes, I get to shoot this ball’. I looked up, saw I had seven seconds, and just didn’t want to turn the ball over – especially knowing that Clark and Delly were the ones guarding me,” McVeigh reflected.

“I’ve been looking at the job they’ve been doing getting under guys. If they get into my body Delly’s a bit quicker and a bit stronger, so I was thinking make sure I get to a spot where I can just rise up and shoot it.

“It was probably a little further out than I would have liked, but as long as I could get to a spot and shoot it, that was my goal.

“I think the beauty of basketball players is we’re all delusional a little bit, we think we’re never going to miss a shot, so I haven’t really thought about [if it missed]. 

“In my mind it was executed perfectly, and the result made sense.”

The JackJumpers will now head back to their home court at MyState Bank Arena with the potential to lift their first NBL title in front of their own fans, but it’s a title that has been built off the back of the club’s first three seasons in the NBL.

Tasmania is the only side in the competition to have registered a top-four regular season finish in each of the last three seasons, and McVeigh says that run of on-court success starts with the defensive accountability demanded by Scott Roth.

“He puts in a defensive system where you either buy in and get it done, or you get out,” McVeigh said.

“That makes it easy to play for, everyone knows they’re on the exact same page, and it doesn’t matter who you are – if you’re don’t do what’s asked of you on the defensive end you’re not going to play, and you’re not going to last long here.

“Secondly, on the offensive end he just lets guys do what they do. He doesn’t coach it too much, he brings in god guys so we all naturally move the ball and support each other, and we say ‘let’s have fun, go get buckets, let’s share the ball, and let’s enjoy each other’s company out there’.

“It gives that confidence where if guys know they’re getting scored on but are doing the right thing defensively, there’s still that confidence to back you.”

Game 4 of the Championship Series between Tasmania and Melbourne will tip off at 7:30pm AEDT on Thursday night, live on ESPN via Kayo.

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