LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) - The day Patrick McSweeney had been dreaming about all week was finally here.
“I'm excited,” McSweeney said moments before tip off. “I'm pumped. I'm ready for this.”
On Sunday, McSweeney got a chance to live out a dream. Yes, he's only 15. Yes, he's a St. X high school student.
And yes, he suffers from Leukemia.
But that is yesterday's reality.
Sunday, he was a college athlete playing for Bellarmine at the KFC Yum! Center against the Louisville Cardinals.
“The opportunity Bellarmine has given me. That coach (Scott) Davenport has given me. That even U of L has given me. It's incredible.”
McSweeney took part in all the pregame festivities and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't hide his joy.
Louisville agreed to give McSweeney a lay-up.But that's not what he wanted.
“I want to hear that swoosh in the net when the ball goes in.”
So moments into the game, McSweeney attempted a three. It missed.
But he kept firing and eventually, he did indeed get that bucket.
“Somebody said that is putting a lot of pressure on him, having him shoot a three?” said Bellarmine head coach Scott Davenport. “You think what that young man has been through the last ten years, he's worried about pressure? No.”
Moments after the basket, McSweeney left the game to a standing ovation. For now it's back to reality. Except for the moment, things aren't as cloudy.
“It gives me a lot. It gives me a little extra boost.”
Louisville beat Bellarmine Sunday. But no one's going to remember the score of a meaningless exhibition. They will however remember a lay-up and the courage of Patrick McSweeney.