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Millbrook played Leesville Road -- and everybody won

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Jayvin Talley was all smiles as he prepared to check into the game.

Years from now, no one will remember that the Millbrook junior varsity basketball team beat Leesville Road on Monday night. Not even the players in all likelihood.

Everyone though, will remember what happened at the end of the game -- a moment that left both teams with a feeling of victory.

"The best part about it was we got in the locker room, how excited our kids were about the whole situation," said Leesville Road coach and former N.C. State star Ishua Benjamin, who actually coached the losing team Monday.

"It just happened in the moment," Benjamin said.

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Up 13 points with a minute to go vs. Leesville Road, Millbrook JV coach Chris Davis made a decision: team manager Jayvin Talley was checking in.

"We set him up to be by himself on offense," Davis said, "and we were going to play defense."

Jayvin, a special-needs student at the school, had served the team tirelessly all season.

"I put the towels on the chairs, and I fill up the water bottles for the team," Jayvin said, describing his role.

But on this night...

Just getting Jayvin to the scorer's table in uniform was a collaborative effort. Injured teammates supplied his jersey

"You're gonna be me tonight."

And shoes.

"You need shoes, what size shoes you wear? You wearing team shoes today."

Davis said, "They got him together and encouraged him and were happier for him than anyone else."

"You could just see his face," Davis added.

Back to the game and Jayvin's moment - it turns out his wide smile was hiding some seriously jangling stage fright.

"The first shot I missed, I was kind of nervous," Jayvin confessed.

Leesville Road had possession with just seconds remaining. In that moment, Pride coach Benjamin put it to his team.

"We always talk about sacrifices and for the greater good," Benjamin said. "You know what? This is bigger than the game. Let's see if we can make someone else smile for once."

"They came out (of time out)," Davis recalled, "and (Ishua) looks at me and said 'I got you' and I have no idea what that means."

It meant the pride inbounded the ball to Jayvin, who got the steal and went up - and missed.

But that was just to pad his rebounding stats, right? His second shot was money.

"It was pretty exciting for the crowd to go crazy," Jayvin said.



Benjamin knew he'd drawn up the right play.

"It was one of those feelings that kind of just touched your heart when it happened," said Benjamin, who played for N.C. State from 1994-98. "It was so much fun. I thought it was the best coaching decision I ever made."

"It was just an honor to see the kid walk out with a great big smile on his face," said Coach Davis.

"So many kids on the bench told me I should've dunked it," Jayvin said, smiling.

One thing's for sure: It was a slam dunk display of sportsmanship that will long be remembered by those who were there.

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