A personal tribute to his late father helped Lachie May secure a rare Tasmanian medal at a national basketball championships.
After the death of his dad, Brendan, in April, May wrote "RIP Dad" on his basketball shoes and the 15-year-old guard needed all the help he could get when the outcome was in his hands in the final second.
In the bronze medal match at the under-16 titles in Darwin, the Tasmanian boys trailed WA Metro by a point when May took centre stage.
"Another dude missed two foul shots for them and we got the rebound and attacked with about seven seconds left," he explained.
"Jacob Furphy grabbed the rebound and passed to Nash Walker who gave it to me then I got fouled right under the ring with 0.8 seconds left.
"We could see how long was left on the clock and my teammates came over and just said: 'Relax, relax'.
"But I was so nervous. I was thinking that for the whole tournament I had not been shooting that well so it could be a bit tight but I needed to get them in and did."
With his teammates watching on nervously, May kept his cool to sink both shots and seal a 59-58 win.
"Once I got the first one I was a bit more relaxed because we only needed one for overtime. When I got the second I was shocked. I looked at the clock with still 0.8 seconds so I had to defend but there was not enough time for them to come back and the game was over.
"I was so excited and happy. We all ran together. It was a bit unbelievable really."
May, who contributed seven points, five rebounds and three assists, explained the thinking behind his personal tribute.
"I just decided to write Dad's name on my shoes so every time I put them on I look at it and think of him. I definitely thought about him before the game."
Born in Victoria, May moved to Tasmania aged seven, attending Riverside Primary and High and playing for City in the Launceston Basketball Association.
He was in the squad last year when the championships were cancelled due to COVID so this was his first trip with a state team.
"It was amazing. We were saying the whole time that Tasmania don't win medals often so it was a rare occasion and we're all pretty stoked and still wearing our medals. I have a lot of great memories with the boys versing the best competition in Australia."
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