The Kodiak junior, playing in only his seventh career varsity boys basketball game, drilled a three-quarter court shot as the third period expired.
Jimenez relived the moment during Tuesday night’s practice at Kodiak High School.
“Tony (Will) was taking out the ball and I saw Jemuel (Medina) getting guarded by two people. I said, ‘Tony, I’m open, pass it in.’’’ Jimenez said. “I took two, three dribbles and let it go. To me it didn’t look like it was going in. It looked like it was going to go off left, but it rattled in the rim and went in.”
It was the shot of a lifetime, as it gave Kodiak a 15-point lead going into the fourth quarter in a game the Bears eventually won 69-47.
“I was happy,” Jimenez said. “Words can’t explain how my emotions felt. To me, I was really excited. It pumped up the adrenaline for the team and in the fourth quarter we came out strong.”
Jimenez might not have been sure the heave was going in, but his coach David Anderson was.
“He let it go and it went nothing but net. It was a good shot,” Anderson said. “You could tell it was going in as soon as he released it.”
Anderson knows a thing or two about last-second tosses. He drilled a full-court shot while playing for the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1981.
“Very seldom do you see it in these games here that are that far out and with time running out,” he said. “It was kind of neat.”
Jimenez said the team doesn’t practice end-of-the-quarter shots and that instincts just kick in when time is running down.
“Coach always tells us to take game situation shots,” Jimenez said. “I never really shoot past the 3-point line.”
Jimenez didn’t begin the season as a full-time varsity player, but after eight games, Anderson said the guard has earned his spot on the team.
“He sees the court well when he is dribbling the ball,” he said. “He is a good passer and is still learning angles. The more playing time he gets up here, he will really benefit from.”
Anderson elevated Jimenez from junior varsity to backup junior guards Medina and Josh Obas.
“The team is pushing me and helping me get to their level,” Jimenez said. “I don’t think I am really there yet, but I am proud that coach put me on this team. I have a role on this team and everybody else is just pushing me trying to make me better.”
Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at firstname.lastname@example.org.