SI Vault
 
2 on 5
THOMAS LAKE
December 08, 2008
One night in 1992, in a small town in Alabama, the North Jackson Chiefs won a game against seemingly insurmountable odds. Then came the crashes and the gunshots and one man's fateful choice
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
December 08, 2008

2 On 5

One night in 1992, in a small town in Alabama, the North Jackson Chiefs won a game against seemingly insurmountable odds. Then came the crashes and the gunshots and one man's fateful choice

View CoverRead All Articles
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

One bullet will pierce Chad's left thigh and another will smash his fibula. He'll look up and see Travis aiming the gun with his eyes closed.

He missed the free throw and—

With 17 seconds left Fort Payne gets the rebound and scores. Another whistle.

—there's a charging foul called against Fort Payne! No goal. And it'll be Chief basketball!

After the gunfire Chad will drive himself to the hospital, thinking hard about permanent vengeance. From time to time after that he will drive around with his black Tec-9 semiautomatic and he will look at Travis from a distance and wonder if he can line up a shot.

Travis will plead guilty to second-degree assault and serve five months in prison. On Feb. 26, 2001, as he plays basketball in the street, he will see a man barreling toward him on a motorcycle. It won't be Chad. It will be their former teammate Thomas Hutchins, one of Travis's best friends. Thomas will be showing off for a girl and coming too fast to stop. He'll plow into Travis, knocking him out of his shoes, cracking two vertebrae and puncturing a lung.

Seventeen seconds to go. They're gonna surround Cobb. And Chad's gotta break free.

As Fort Payne makes a substitution, Sanders calls Robert and Chad to the sideline. He tries to sound very calm. He tells Robert to throw the ball in. He tells Chad to walk along the baseline toward Robert, lulling the defenders, then do a jab step and run back toward the corner and catch Robert's bounce pass and go.

Sanders figures Cobb will run so fast that he'll overshoot the basket. He tells Robert to run hard for the left block.

So we've got three or four people around Chad Cobb. So the ball comes in to Cobb. He runs it down the right sideline. He may take it all the way in. He will. He'll put it up—

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Related Topics
  ARTICLES GALLERIES COVERS
Chad Cobb 1 0 0
Little Robert 1 0 0
Fort Payne 4 0 0
Chad 40 0 0
Robert Collier 1 0 0