|Cory Weissman, with an
enthusiastic Gettysburg student section behind him, hits one of two
free throws to punctuate his return to the floor.
Gettysburg athletics photo by Tommy Riggs
By Pat Coleman
Saturday was a big day for Gettysburg men’s basketball, and a classy move by Washington College made it an even bigger one. The program honored two Centennial Conference title teams, saw a 57-year-old coaching record fall and celebrated Senior Day.
For one senior, it was even more memorable. Cory Weissman’s Senior Day included his return to the court after three years on the sidelines. He suffered a life-threatening stroke during an offseason workout and needed two weeks just to learn to walk again.
Weissman started and after Washington College won the tip, it gave the ball to Weissman to turn over so the clock would stop and he could be removed. Weissman figured his playing day was done, but it was what happened at the end of the game that was truly selfless. He was surprised to even get a chance to come back in.
"I had no idea at all," Weissman told D3sports.com. "My dream and my goal since I got back my sophomore year was just to step on the court again. I wasn’t sure if I would even have the opportunity to do that."
Gettysburg led comfortably in the final minute of the game, so Weissman returned to the floor. And after a Washington College basket with 19 seconds left, coach Rob Nugent called a timeout, not to unnecessarily prolong the game, but to provide one goal: Foul Cory Weissman.
Two seconds later, Weissman went to the free throw line and hit one out of two, giving the Bullets an 83-67 lead in a game it finished by winning 83-69.
"I better not miss these free throws," Weissman recalls thinking, as he stepped to the line. But once he missed the first, the pressure evaporated rather than intensifying.
"For some reason, I don’t know what it is, I kind of just told myself that three years of hard work, after what I’ve been through, there’s no way I was going to miss it. That was one of the most confident free throws I’ve ever taken."
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