NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Young basketball players at Trinity Elementary School in New Rochelle expressed their excitement and high hopes for the high school basketball team as it enters the state playoff quarterfinals this Sunday. The students have been paying close attention to the events of the past week, specifically Khalil Edney's buzzer-beating winning shot.
"That game was so fun! I loved when he hit that shot. My brother and I jumped over the chairs and ran onto the court," Jayson McGhee said. "We kept on singing songs about New Ro and cheering for the team."
McGhee said he kind of knows what Edney must have felt like. "I made a shot like that against Davis once."
The students, all fourth- and fifth-graders who play basketball, were thinking about what it would be like to be in the shoes of the high school players and imagining their own future success in sports.
They had a sense of being part of the same community as the high school players. "It feels great to be from New Rochelle," Jesus Burgos said.
"Winning the sectionals and the whole shot going viral thing - the kids are saying, 'Wow, I can do that also maybe?' It's very cool," said Trinity Principal Anthony DiCarlo, who is passionate about having athletics as part of the students' lives.
They didn't understand the scope of what it meant that "The Shot" had gone viral, but they were astonished to hear that people all over the country know about New Rochelle.
"It's pretty cool to know that we might be playing in high school and be like that," Nyeira Spady said.
"The high school kids have become role models to the younger kids, who want to aspire to be a player later," DiCarlo said. "When they see these things happen, it further pushes them to believe in what they can do as athletes."
Lamar Hill said he hopes to get a scholarship to play college basketball one day. "I hope by then I know everything there is to know about the game," Hill said.
DiCarlo stresses the importance of education first when the topic of college or professional sports comes up.
"I tell them all the time: it's great to get the accolades, but if you're not a student athlete, with the 'student' part first, then the foundation to go far just isn't there," he said.
The students are ready to watch the next game, when the New Rochelle Huguenots play Kingston at West Point. They are, of course, also hoping for more than just a win on Sunday.
"I'm excited because if the basketball team wins the championship, that will be three teams with the football team and the cheerleaders," Kayshaun Thomas said.
Jayson McGhee made a promise for Sunday's game: He plans to wear multiple layers of clothing just so he can rip them off when New Rochelle wins.