The basket had to be lowered so Georgia State coach Ron Hunter could cut the final pieces of the net following his team’s 38-36 victory over Georgia Southern on Sunday to win the Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship game.
Hunter, whose son R.J. made the deciding free throws with 21.6 seconds left, injured his achilles tendon in the immediate postgame celebration and had to be helped off the court.
Hunter said the pleasure of embracing his son for a few seconds was worth the pain.
The celebration with his son was short-lived, ending after a hug took the coach to the court at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans. He watched the rest of the celebration on the bench.
“I tore my achilles on the right side years ago playing basketball,” Hunter said. “This was the exact same feeling and I knew when I jumped up ... I knew when I came down that I had done it [again], but instead of stopping right there, I wanted to go celebrate with my team. More importantly I wanted to go celebrate with my son. You don’t get many opportunities like that.”