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Did Mykal Riley’s 3ptr Save Lives?

It’s insane to consider the thought, but it’s quite possible Mykal Riley saved lives by making a shot in a basketball game. Yes, that’s correct, with one basket, Mykal Riley could have changed the fate of thousands of people. On Friday night in Atlanta, Alabama was trailing Mississippi State by three points at the end of the game. Riley hit a three-pointer to tie the ballgame and send it to overtime. Three minutes later, the game was delayed over an hour because of a tornado that ripped through the area. But it wasn’t until David Stein pointed it out to me at Sporting News Radio that I realized Riley’s shot altered the course of history for several fans in attendance. The situation was full of what-ifs.

What if Riley hadn’t made the shot? Would all the fans have poured out into the streets and been exposed to the powers of mother nature that tore portions of the Georgia Dome roof off? Seems like that would have been the case. After the game, Riley’s comments seemed to indicate he understood the magnitude of his literally life-altering shot:

“We were talking about it in the locker room during the delay. I think it was Brandon Hollinger who brought it up, and he and Ron Steele were saying that if we weren’t in overtime, some people could be dead or injured and then everybody (the team) started talking about it (in the locker room). I’ve been thinking about it. I couldn’t sleep last night because I kept thinking about it. A lot of people could be dead if that hadn’t happened. I believe it was God. I keep thinking about how the ball just rolled in. It was supposed to happen so that no one would be hurt. I believe God had His hand in that to protect the people who were in the Dome.”

I like to believe that there was a superior power guiding the incident to ensure nothing terrible happened to all those fans in attendance. I’m glad Riley sees it too. Who knew a simple jumpshot could have that much significance?


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