EVANSTON — A freshman at Evanston Township High School caught the attention of people around the world after his dramatic 80-foot buzzer beater was caught on video Friday.
Blake Peters says he didn’t even want the ball in the first place. With two seconds left on the clock, and his school down 43-42, the only way they could win was to sink the basketball equivalent of a Hail Mary.
“I didn’t really want the ball to come to me; I didn’t want that responsibility of shooting the shot,” Blake said.
But after the freshman forward grabbed a rebound, he didn’t hesitate before hurling the ball towards the hoop on the opposite end.
“It looked good when I saw it, and then when it went in I was shocked,” Blake said. “It was probably the best moment of my life.”
The crowd understandably went crazy. And sure enough, a video of the game-winning buzzer beater went viral, gaining more than two million views in days.
The freshman says the past few days since then have been overwhelming. ESPN named his shot the “Play of the Day.” The City of Evanston even recognized Blake for the game-winning shot Monday. He tried to replicate the shot for them, and missed.
His parents eventually took Blake’s phone so he could get away from it all.
“I’m just looking for things to get back to normal. I haven’t slept in three nights. I just can’t wait for the day when everything’s just calmed down,” Blake said.
Basketball helps keep Blake grounded, so he was eager to get back in the gym Monday. His coach says the 15-year-old has been a leader both on and off the court.
“It’s almost as if Blake was born to score; they recognized that as early as five months into his high school career, and it’s helped us have a successful season so far,” head coach Mike Ellis said.
Blake says from the looks of it he probably peaked as a freshman, but hopes he has a lot more games ahead of him.
“My goal is to play D-1 basketball. That’s what I want to do with my life; I don’t really have any intentions of (joining) the NBA. I like law a lot, I’ll probably go into that,” he said.
The men’s basketball team is now 16-4 so far this season, and is ranked 11th in the state. Their next game is Saturday against Oak Park and River Forest High School.