Just hours before the Jan. 16 game pitting the Holy Cross H.S., Flushing, varsity basketball team against rival Xaverian H.S., junior guard Christian Wilson’s paternal grandfather passed away from stage IV prostate cancer at the age of 83.
Wilson though knew he had to help his team in one of the biggest games on the schedule. Plus, it’s what his grandfather would have wanted.
“He (grandfather) was very big on sports,” Wilson said. “Till the moment that he died, he would always ask about the games … always. He definitely would have wanted me to play the game. And I knew something good would come out of it.”
It was a bit of a struggle for the normally consistent Wilson throughout much of the game. But that “good moment” that he spoke of surely came.
As if the script had already been written, Wilson got the ball with his team down by two points in the final seconds. He split two defenders and nailed a game-winning three-point shot.
“As soon as it went in, he (Wilson) pointed to the sky to his grandpa,” said Knights’ head coach Terry Tarpey. “Grandpa was looking down on him for sure on that one.”
It was definitely an emotional day for Wilson, and while he wears No. 1 on his Holy Cross jersey, his grandfather will always remain No. 1 in his heart.
“I feel like I’m obligated to give my best effort,” Wilson said.
“Not just with the season but with everything I do. He (grandfather) would want me to do that.”