Frederick County student’s backward basketball shot goes viral -- Gazette.Net



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During the closing seconds of a church basketball league game on Jan. 5, Matt DeMember, with his back to the basket, threw up a two-handed shot over his head about 30-feet from the hoop.

The 14-year-old from Monrovia never expected to make it, but he did.

“I didn’t have time to turn around and shoot [the ball] normal, so my first instinct was to shoot it up,” he said. “I saw a glimpse of it go in, and then I started going crazy.... It was a lucky [shot].”

Now, because of a video of the Linganore High School freshman’s amazing luck, he has had the opportunity to appear on several popular national television programs, including “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “Anderson Live.”

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Matt said of his instant television fame.

Matt plays for the Damascus Road Community Church basketball team of the Christian Basketball Association. They were playing the Redland Baptist Church team from Derwood, when he made the desperation shot.

“It was definitely a shock [that he made it],” said Don DeMember, Matt’s father and an assistant coach with the team. “The whole crowd, both teams, the fans, everyone went wild.”

Despite Matt’s basket, the team lost to Redland, 45-40.

But Matt said the next day at school no one even mentioned the team’s loss.

“People at my lunch table were talking about [my shot] ” he said. “[And] kids were coming up to me in the hallways and saying ‘This kid is famous.’”

A Youtube video made by a Redland team parent of Matt’s shot quickly went viral on the Internet.

As of Monday, the video has garnered over 5 million views.

By Jan. 10, the video had attracted the attention of ESPN, which tweeted the footage under its Sports Center profile and aired it on the network’s “Top Plays” segment.

“That was really cool,” Matt said. “It was cool to see myself on ESPN.”

Soon Matt’s story was being featured on news sites like the Huffington Post, and he was interviewed Jan. 10 by ABC 7 for a segment that aired the next day.

On Friday, Matt was interviewed via Skype by Jimmy Kimmel about the Youtube video for the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” show.

“That could be your signature move. Kareem [Abdul Jabbar] had the Skyhook. You could have the behind-the-back granny shot, that’s your thing.... Will you go to college or you just go right directly into the NBA?,” Kimmel asked during the segment.

“I plan to go to college,” DeMember said with a laugh.

Other guests on the show included Sofia Vergara, known for her role in ABC’s “Modern Family,” and recording artist Bruno Mars.

“I just think it’s crazy how social media works now,” Diane DeMember, Matt’s mother, said of the video. “Its just crazy how these things spread, and everyone knows about it.... It’s exciting.”

Matt and his family also traveled to New York Monday night so that he could be featured on “Anderson Live,” where he was interviewed by host Anderson Cooper. The show was to air Wednesday.

“I’ve never been to New York before, so that will be pretty awesome,” Matt said.

myoung@gazette.net