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03/09/2013

Total class: Derek Harper talks to the poor kid who made the game-winner for the wrong team

In case you have not already seen this sad story, poor Trey Johnson of Hugo high school in Oklahoma made a serious boo-boo in his team's Class 3A state tournament game this week.

His team was inbounding the ball and led by one-point with 3.7 seconds remaining against Millwood. His team just needed to dribble out the clock to win.

But on the inbounds, in a state of confusion, Johnson caught the ball and made a layup in the wrong basket for the wrong team. Millwood won the game by one point.

 

It's a heart breaking story, because the kid is just 16 and screwed up.

250px-Derek_harperThe next day, a handful of people in pro sports reached out to Johnson to let him know it's going to be OK - that everybody makes mistake and to move forward.

One of them was Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti, who invited him to Sunday's game between the Thunder and Boston Celtics.

The other is former Dallas Mavericks guard, and current color TV analyst Derek Harper.

Harper has a goof of his own - in Game 4 of the 1984 Western Conference semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers, Harper dribbled out the clock when the game was tied. The Lakers won in overtime, and eventually the series.

Harper called Johnson to let him know the world doesn't end on a layup in the wrong basket.

Harper told the Daily Oklahoman: "It's an honest mistake. You can run and hide if you want after a mistake, but at the end of the day, it's always going to be there. I've always had a firm belief that we all make mistakes. It's not if. It's when.”

Class act by a class guy.

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