I’ve got nothing against Shaquille O’Neal, but in honor of his retirement I have to post this. On Dec. 21, 1990, in one of the great moments in Illinois basketball history Illini Guard Rennie Clemons, who was maybe – maybe – six feet tall, drove the lane, went right up Shaq’s face and layed the ball in the hoop:
Count it! The basket and the foul.
Illinois went on to win 102-96, but it was that play late in the fourth quarter that true Illini fans still talk about. No, it wasn’t a dunk (as it’s sometimes reported), but it was a thing of beauty.
This is why you watch sports in general, and this is why you watch college basketball in particular. Even then, everyone knew Shaquille O’Neal would be one of the greatest players in NBA history … but even so, little Rennie Clemons owned him that day.
© 2011 David P. von Ebers. All rights reserved.