He covered the declining years of Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics for the Portland (Maine) Press Herald, and the rise of the latest Yankee dynasty for the Newark (N.J.) Star Ledger.
Mississippi State University's women's basketball team (37-2) returned to the National Championship title game for the second year in a row, but came up short to the University of Notre Dame's Fighting Irish (36-3) with a final score of 61-58.
There were three seconds left in the game and Notre Dame had one last chance. Arike Ogunbowale couldn't make a shot. "They got it down low to 6'7" Teaira McCowan who missed a layup with 27.8 seconds remaining and picked up her fourth foul on the rebound opportunity. It was a mess.
"We're all just on the bench, watching in slow motion", she said. And, yes, even some officiating calls and non-calls that will keep fans debating as long as they remember this Women's Final Four.
First, McGraw calmed everyone down. She already boasts five USA Basketball medals (four golds and one silver) and an NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Performer award in 2016. Ogunbowale says she embraced Bryant's presence by going into Mamba Mentality during those final seconds.
"So I said at halftime, 'Everybody stay in their spots". "She had a great idea of the clock going in her head". She has won her two title games at Notre Dame by a combined five points, and this one required that her team pull off the largest comeback - they trailed by 15 midway through the third quarter - in all 33 NCAA tournament title games that have been played.
Ogunbowale's buzzer-beating shot in the national semifinal sent favorite and undefeated UConn home after a 91-89 overtime victory. By the end of the third quarter, the Bulldogs and Irish were tied 41-41.
It was a classic game with the Fighting Irish trailing by as many as 15 points.
"I'm just super excited that he's succeeding as much as he has, and I have, and we're really making our parents proud, our grandparents proud, our aunts and uncles and all of our family", said Ogunbowale.
"We were a little dejected at the end of regulation, but Arike I think was madder than anyone", McGraw said. "We can't seem to beat them in the final". Young had to start searching for other options, and she had talked with Ogunbowale about being the secondary look.
"So many greats have played on this court, and just to be able to play here and be on the McDonald's All-American team was just an honor", said Ogunbowale. "I know my lil sis @jewellloyd is happy Well done @ndwbb good luck on Sunday #mambamentality".
Gregory Ogunbowale fought in the Nigerian army and played soccer and rugby before bringing his family to the U.S.
"There was no whistle, so I don't guess there was a foul", William said. "Jess just kicked it to me, and I was like, 'OK, Marina, it's time". So I really had to choose one.
It all came down to a single 3-point shot by Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale. McCowan finished with her 29th double-double, scoring 18 points while pulling down 17 rebounds.
But Shepard was well-guarded as sophomore guard Jackie Young tried to inbound the ball. They scrapped back though and when that final shot dropped, the celebration began. In fact, they could be two of the best in the world.