NEW YORK (Parlay Game) – Bruce Morris is still surprised by what he has accomplished thirty years later.
Morris was the leader of Marshall when he hit the historic basket from 89 feet 10 inches just before halftime against Appalachian State on February 7, 1985.
He jokes that the "World Tour Around the World" would never have happened if his teammates had listened to their coach.
"I was the starting point and we were supposed to take the last shot of half," Morris said in a telephone interview this week, a few days before the birthday. "I went to our lead of 6 feet 9 inches in the corner with 12 seconds to go and he shot and they had a quick break in the other direction. Skeeter Roberts made a huge blockage on the layup and I pursued it. He was out of reach and knowing that the horn was going to ring when I caught it, I turned around and threw it. "
The rest is history.
The photo drew some national attention, as was mentioned in the news, but it was well before the Internet, and the ESPN SportsCenter was still in its infancy.
"I remember it was in the evening news with Tom Brokaw because my parents were in Hawaii and saw him," Morris remembers. "I can only imagine what it would have been like now."
Morris is still involved in college basketball and has been in Division I for almost two decades, having refereed men's games for seven years. He has participated in the NCAA Regional Games and has officiated at most East Coast conferences.
"I would certainly have reviewed it and I would have really counted it," Morris laughed when asked if his shot would have been taken into account with the reruns available now. "As you watch, the light goes off when the ball is mid-ground."
Marshall has a permanent reminder of the coup, which has been certified by the Guinness World Book of Records as the longest shot ever seen, with Morris' footprints on the ground at the spot where he's lined up. Hit. He lives about a kilometer and a half from Marshall's campus and has officiated some preparatory games.
"The other officials I know when they play Marshall see footprints and texting or call me to ask if that's me," he said. "It's cool that this is a permanent reminder."
Morris recalled that the year following graduation, Marshall had brought him back to be part of a clothing promotion. He was given 10 shots to try to hit the historic hit again.
"They picked 10 random fans and if I did, they would get about $ 1000. If I hit the edge, they also got something," Morris said. "I hit the edge once and hit the group nine times. They made me throw a much smaller girls' ball and threw it into the stands. "
The Virginia Tech Henson scored the longest goal before Morris in January 1980. Henson's shot, which won the game, was 89 feet 3 inches, according to the Guinness book.
While Morris fondly remembers his record, he was just as proud of his last home basket against Davidson, a seasoned drummer winning the match.
"It won the game, so people say, what shot was the best. They were both great, "he said. "The longest shot is something that will last forever, it's another shot that I can say: my last game, my last shot, he won the match, it's a good memory."
Pat Eaton-Robb, Associate Editor at Sports Associated Press in Connecticut, contributed to this report.
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