Local hero Myles Hesson clinches Commonwealth glory in blockbuster fashion in Birmingham

The basketball star held his nerve with a two-pointer in overtime - the shot arcing in apparent slow motion, just like Hollywood - as friends and family watched on and those without tickets yelled his name from a nearby fan park
Myles Hesson of Great Britain during the FIBA EuroBasket 2021Myles Hesson of Great Britain during the FIBA EuroBasket 2021
Myles Hesson of Great Britain during the FIBA EuroBasket 2021

In an ending straight out one of those US high school movies, local lad Myles Hesson took his turn in the spotlight and drained a long shot for basketball glory.

Hesson held his nerve with a two-pointer in overtime - the shot arcing in apparent slow motion, just like Hollywood - as friends and family watched on and those without tickets yelled his name from a nearby fan park.

This fast-paced shortened 3x3 form of the game is making its Commonwealth Games debut in Birmingham, after a successful premiere at last year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

Australia are basketball powerhouses but Hesson and team-mates Jammell Anderson, Jaydon Henry-McCall and Orlan Jackson silenced the ‘Boomers’ with a last-gasp winner and then reeled away in celebration, the win secured 17-16.

“It’s incredible, I’m still trying to figure out the words to put it together,” said Hesson.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d make the game winning shot here in Birmingham for Commonwealth Games gold. It’s almost a joke, I’m just dreaming really.

“I played basketball in every corner of this city, just around the corner is where I catch the bus to get into town, my grandparents brought me to the market over there. I’m Birmingham, so this means so much.

“I’m going to carry this moment with me for the rest of my life now. This has been a two-year process; we’ve worked so hard as a four for the last two months. We’ve pushed Australia, one of the best teams around, after such a short time together. Just imagine what we can do if we can push this now?

“That was a bit nervy at the end, but we all chipped in, and I hit the big shot that won the game. It was a big team effort. I just kept shooting and kept the confidence that my chance would come.”

However, England were the wrong side of last-gasp drama in the women’s final, as Canada’s Sarah Te-Biasu drained a last second shot to secure the gold 14-13. The judges looked to see if the clock had expired as England looked despairingly on but ruled her effort was good.

“I’m proud of us, we’ve come here and got a silver medal but when you are that close to a gold medal, it’s going to hurt and be disappointing,” said Cheridene Green, part of the team with Hannah Jump, Shanice Beckford-Norton and Chantelle Handy.

“There are no regrets, we’ve put everything out there against a good team, but we’ve come up just a little bit short. At the end of the day, we’re still Commonwealth medallists, the fans are still cheering our names and that’s something to be proud about.”

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