Pittsburgh is a town that has been home to some of the greatest sports moments of all time. Whether if it was the Immaculate Reception, Maz’s Game 7 walk off or Kunitz’s double OT goal against the Senators, Yinzer’s have been lucky to see some incredible stuff happen throughout the years.
While Pittsburgh might not be known for its basketball and the play might not have taken place in a playoff game, on this day, 21 years ago, one of the most electric highlight plays of all time took place in none other than the Steel City.
I’m talking about of course, “Send it in Jerome”
In what I am sure was a decent matchup between Pitt and Providence, Akron native, Jerome Lane threw down one of the most lethal dunks the human eye has ever seen.
Everything about this play is fucking awesome.
Lets start with the beginning…. Notice that white boy leading the fast break? That is none other than Arizona men’s basketball coach, Sean Miller. Yep, that’s right, people forget that he was the one who started things off. Miller is flying down the court, then dishes that ball to Lane, who then takes off from a pretty far distance for the dunk.
You need to remember, this is 1988 here folks. The Dunk contest was like brand new and Zion Williamson’s parents probably weren’t even alive yet. The best player in the NBA was Larry Bird, who was known for doing pretty much everything well aside from dunking a basketball. They were not spoiled with 360 tomahawks every game, like we see now. Simply dunking a basketball was something kids would write home about (Because it was 1988 and they didn’t have the internet or cell phones).
Regardless of when this dunk took place, it will always be an all time classic. If a college player does this shit in a game tomorrow, he will have an illegal shoe deal written out for him before his team gets bounced in the first round of the tournament.
The dunk was incredible, even before the glass shattered. However, once the rim came down, the moment became an all time classic. You have Lane, standing over some poor Providence shmuck, who has to call his father after the game to let him know that Jerome is now his Daddy.
Jerome just casually steps over him and hits Charles Smith with the double high five in classic 1980’s fashion. There was no creative handshake or fortnite dance, it was a high ten and a hug and that was that.
Then…. Arguably one of the best lines ever said in a play by play broadcast came from the legend, Bill Raftery. “SEND IT IN JEROME”. I’ve seen the Clarks in concert at least 14 times not even they can top the perfect sound that came out of Raftery’s voice after that play. It was perfect.
Since then, the play has gone on to be remembered as one of the best moments in Big East history and one of the best dunks of all time; as it should. It had everything, the build up, the long leap, the posterization, the shattered back board and then the call to top everything off. Happy 21st birthday, “Send it in Jerome”, you perfect son of a bitch.