GODDARD — Cole Kinnamon’s last-second 3-point game-winner has developed a viral life of its own.
Kinnamon’s double pump 3-pointer to win a MAYB National Championship for Central Kansas Elite Sunday is being featured on ESPN and FOX Sports, garnering the third-best play on ESPN’s Top 10. By Sunday night, the video filmed by Taylor Eldridge of The Wichita Eagle showed more than 250,000 views on Instragram.
“That’s the No. 1 shot I’ve ever made,” said Cole Kinnamon. “I made a half-court shot to win a game at McPherson’s summer league two years ago.”
Central Kansas Elite upset the Springfield, Mo. Slashers 75-74 in overtime at Goddard Eisenhower High School fo finish an 8-0 national tournament. Derby’s Nyjee Wright converted two free throws to force overtime. The Slashers had won seven tournament games by an average of 25 ppg.
“People kept calling me telling me I’m on ESPN,” said Cole Kinnamon. “It’s insane.”
Kinnamon, being recruited at the Division I level, found himself at the bottom of a dog-pile celebration.
“I didn’t have time to think, and I’m at the bottom of a big pile,” he said.
The St. John High School senior took a pass from Goddard Eisenhower’s Matt Pile and used a screen from Maize’s Troy Baker to slow a defender who fell at halfcourt when Kinnamon employed a cross-over dribble. It’s a play that St. John High School coach Clint Kinnamon uses on last-second situations.
“It’s hard to stop somebody when they get a full head of steam,” said coach Clint Kinnamon, who has captured four high school state titles leading the Tigers. “The defense rotated when Cole crossed it over.”
However, Cole Kinnamon deftly faked to make a help-side defender miss a blocked shot.
Coach Kinnamon said the last time he coached a last-second winner was 2007 when Tyler Meyer’s shot beat Wichita North at the Mid-winter Classic.
Kinnamon, Holcomb’s Todd VanCleave, Derby’s Nyjee Wright and Maize High’s Grant Bugbee played on the Central Kansas Elite team during the summer. Kinnamon picked up Maize’s Tyson Love and Troy Baker, Eisenhower’s Matt Pile and Dylan Vincent and Goddard’s Bryant Mocaby and Circle’s Cal Hartley for the tournament, Coach Kinnamon stressed a team-oriented style of unselfish basketball that upset teams with higher-profile athletes.
“We thought we might have a chance when we stressed to the guys that we’d play team basketball. We knew some of the teams would not share the basketball,” coach Kinnamon said. “The thing that separated us was these guys were willing passers. These guys shared the ball. We got them to guard.”
The Elite’s toughest test until the championship was a 70-67 victory over the Kansas Players, featuring Wichita Southeast’s Jerrick Harding, Andover Central’s Darraja Parnell and Roman Young from Sunrise Academy.
“Some of the guys had never had a state-tournament opportunity,” Kinnamon said. “I’m tickled with guys wanting to compete in tournaments like this.”
St. John’s Dean Wade, a starter at Kansas State University last year as a freshman, captured two MAYB National championships during his high school career.
CENTRAL KANSAS ELITE
• CK Elite 66-32 Jefferson, Colo. Jaguars
• CK Elite 53-29 Arkansas Wolfpack
• CK Elite 64-45 RWA Illinois
• CK Elite 70-48 Missouri Mavericks
• CK Elite 64-40 Oklahoma-Kansas Outlaws
• CK Elite 70-67 Kansas Players
• CK Elite 66-44 Lawrence Thunder
• CK Elite 75-74 Springfield, Mo. Slashers