Lamar Christian athlete moves crowd to tears

Lamar Christian athlete moves crowd to tears

PURVIS, MS (WDAM) - This empty, quiet gym is a stark contrast to a week and a half ago when a local high school basketball team rocked the court.

On Jan. 26, it was senior night for the Lamar Christian basketball team and the school beat Prentiss Christian 80- 52.

But the excitement was not about the score, it was about team player Luke Amacker. 

"It really ended up being like something you see in a movie," Lamar Christian head basketball Coach Drew Smith said.

"We love Luke," said one of the players on the team.

"Luke's by far my favorite player on the team. I love Luke," said another player. 

Amacker is not a starter, in fact, coach Smith said he does not get to play often.

But Amacker shocked the entire crowd with this performance when he sunk the first shot of the game and made every free throw.

"There were tears in the stands, but there were also tears down here on the court," Smith said.

If you're wondering, "ball players do a good job on the court all the time, what's different about this game?" Well, Coach Smith explains Amacker is exceptional.

"Luke is just a special player to all of us," Smith said. "A special friend."      

Smith said Amacker is a person of few words, so he stands with him for support. Amacker said he just wanted a chance to play with his friends.

Smith said Amacker topped off the night with the winning shot.

"After I hit the buzzer beater at the end of the game, they just rushed out at me," Amacker said.

Junior and leading scorer on the team Winceton Edwards said he gave up his starting position for Amacker, but he was happy to do so for his friend.

"I knew he was going to do it," Edwards said. "I expected him to do it. I feel happy for him."

Coach Smith said Amacker scored nine points that night, but it felt like more because that night turned into inspiration for the team, the fans, and the community, because it's now a story about love.

Lamar Christian won the district tournament championship against Sylva Bay Academy 66-52 Saturday night. Edwards had 37 points and Caleb Bennett had a double double. You can catch them in the Regional tournament this coming week.

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