Like every sports-loving athlete, I too have dreams of hitting a big shot in a big game while the crowd goes wild.
My homeboy Dan-o swears he scored seven touchdowns in a junior high football game. His brother, my best friend, once scored 20 points in a city league game. (His name is James so, of course, his nickname was James Bond, which was shortened to the interminably long “007,” forcing everyone to call him “Double-O”). Their cousin Stan, Stan the Chicken Man (he worked at KFC), once scored a 99-yard touchdown. More impressively, our friend World (Full name: “World Champeen, Five Times, But Three in a Row”) once hit a home run and threw a touchdown on the same day.
But none of those stories or nicknames come close to the newly minted legend of Jackson State University senior Thomas “Snacks” Lee.
The Clarion-Ledger reports that Lee has served as the JSU’s men’s basketball team manager since 2004 and has been around the university for most of his life. Because Lee always carried a few edible goodies to munch on, players apparently ignored his starring role alongside Tupac in Juice and his hit single, “Fair Eastside High.” Instead, they gave him a new nickname.
“I was just somebody coming around and nobody ever knew my name so people started calling me Snacks and it stuck with me,” Lee said. “I used to give the players Skittles before each game.”
On Monday night, as Jackson State routed Arkansas-Pine Bluff in JSU’s final home game, coach Wayne Brent inserted No. 35 into the lineup with two minutes left in the game, much to the delight of the home crowd.
It was “Snacks” time.
Lee missed his first three shots but, to be fair, his shot was probably cold because he had only been warming up for 16 years. On his fourth attempt, this happened.
The jubilant fans went wild and the inspiring video soon went viral.
“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that not too many people my size get to do in a Division 1 basketball game,” Lee told the Clarion-Ledger. “In my mind, I felt like I was on top of the world.”
Jackson State won the game 76-56.
“Snacks” has not given any indication on whether he will enter the NBA draft.