This story may be a week old, but it's a good one. Cory Weissman is a senior at Gettysburg College (Division III) who hadn't stepped foot on a basketball court since suffering a stroke during an off-season workout as a freshman that left him "fully paralyzed on the left side of his body." Prior to the incident, Weissman had played in just three games and had not scored a basket. Following the stroke, it took him two weeks to re-learn how to walk. Fast forward three years to last Saturday and it is Senior Day at Gettysburg and Weissman found himself back on the court against Washington College.
It being Senior Day, Weissman got to start the game. Washington College's coach, Rob Nugent—who hugged Weissman during the pregame introductions—must have known Weissman's story because after securing the tipoff Washington immediately gave the ball to Weissman to turn over and stop the clock. Weissman was then removed from his ceremonial start.
"My dream and my goal since I got back my sophomore year was just to step on the court again. I wasn't sure if I would even have the opportunity to do that."
He wasn't asking for a career day. All he wanted was to just get back. Good enough, right? Guy comes back from a near fatal episode and fulfills his own modest goal? Who could write a better script?
Enter Rob Nugent.
With Gettsyburg up by a comfortable margin late in the game, Weissman was put back in the game. Following a Washington score to cut the lead to 15, Nugent called a timeout with less than 20 seconds left. To instruct his players to foul Weissman.
Two seconds later, Weissman went to the free throw line and hit one out of two, giving the Bullets an 83-67 lead in a game it finished by winning 83-69.
"I better not miss these free throws," Weissman recalls thinking, as he stepped to the line. But once he missed the first, the pressure evaporated rather than intensifying.
"For some reason, I don't know what it is, I kind of just told myself that three years of hard work, after what I've been through, there's no way I was going to miss it. That was one of the most confident free throws I've ever taken."
Cory Weissman will graduate this year and his name will be in the Gettysburg record books where it will show 1 point scored—with one huge assist from an opposing coach. Weissman said it "was just an unforgettable day. It was honestly the best day of my life."
Classy call highlights Weissman's return [D3Hoops.com]