August 9, 2020

Jackson State team manager makes Mississippi proud with amazing 3-point shot and gracious, inspiring response

Cool things still happen in our world (and to good people). Case in point, an amazing shot during the Jackson State Tigers mens basketball game against Arkansas Pine Bluff.

The shot in question happened with just over 2 minutes left in the game when an unlikely player suited up for the Tigers.

Team manager Thomas “Snacks” Lee began working with the team in 2015 shortly after coming to Jackson State. As the “new guy” he often brought candy and other treats for members of the team which earned him his nickname.

Lee quickly became a beloved part of the JSU family, so much so that last year, the team put him on a scholarship, despite having never played in a game.

As Senior Day approached, the team (and Lee) knew his work with JSU would end soon and his dream of some game time would end with it.

JSU coach Wayne Brent challenged the team by telling them if they built a big enough lead, he’s put Lee in late in the game.

Late in the game, with a strong lead on scoreboard and the crowd chanting “We want Snacks! We want Snacks!” Coach Brent knew it was time.

With 2:05 left on the clock the burly Lee entered the game. He missed on three long shots and hope of a magical moment appeared to be waning.

But with just 17 second left on the clock, Lee sunk a long 3-pointer and the crowd erupted.

The fame that followed has been amazing. Lee was named Southwestern Athletic Conference player of the week. He’s appeared on NBC’s “Today” show and many more media interviews and appearances.

Lee tweeted a simple, but inspiring message for all of us to remember: “Never let anybody tell you what you ‘can’t’ do. Stay Down and wait for your moment.”

“I want to give honor to the man above, God, for making this moment without him nothing is possible,” Lee told the “Today” show audience. Then he thanked the coaches, administrators and teammates at Jackson State.

Lee’s favorite NBA player Kevin Durant tweeted that Lee should be called Snipe, not Snacks, a shortened reference to his being a sniper on the court. He also sent Lee an autographed jersey.

The Tigers, well ahead when Lee entered the game, wound up winning 76-56.