Nights don’t get much more meaningful than the one Truman High School senior Kaimen Lennox experienced Tuesday night.
He was presented with a ceremonial game ball – to commemorate his recent 1,000th career point – and he followed that by scoring the final four points in a dramatic 62-60 Suburban Large Seven Conference win over Liberty.
“This was a total team win,” an appreciative Truman coach Rod Briggs said, “but in the end, we wanted the ball in Kaimen’s hands and he came through for us.”
Lennox’s teammate, Jeilel White, who created the commemorative ball that was signed by all his Truman teammates, took it a step further, adding, “Kaimen is stone cold. With the game on the line – like it was tonight – I don’t want anyone touching the ball but Kaimen.
“He’s the best guard I’ve ever played with. Nothing bothers him. Did you see him hit those last two free throws? We knew they were in before he even shot them.”
Ironically, Lennox got out of his pregame routine when Briggs presented him the basketball commemorating his 1,000th career point, which he scored Jan. 8 in a 59-46 win over St. Joseph Central.
“I have this pregame routine I go through and I got out of it a little bit when they presented me the ball,” said Lennox, who scored nine of his game-high 21 points in the nail-biting fourth quarter comeback. “It took me a while to get into a rhythm in the game.”
But once he did, he showed the standing room only student section why he is a member of the 1,000-point club.
With Truman leading 58-56 with 23 seconds left, Lennox took a deft pass from Cam Robins and drove to the basket to hit a layup, making it 60-56.
He was then fouled and hit both free throws to give the Patriots (9-3, 3-1 Large Seven) an insurmountable lead as the Blue Jays made it close at the end on two free throws and a Javion Byers 3-pointer at the buzzer.
“I know how far our program has come and that makes a win like this even more meaningful,” Briggs said. “We needed to do a better job of getting the ball into Kaimen’s hands at the end, but Cam and Jeilel each came up with big free throws that helped us win this game.”
Following the win, Lennox posed for photos with friends, teammates and family members and reflected on his big night.
“I got to share a win with my teammates and the presentation with my mom and dad and family,” Lennox said. “This is one of those nights you never forget.”
Macio Moananu added 14 points for the Patriots, Phillips finished with nine and Sam Billimon had eight.
Grant Stubbs led the Blue Jays with 14 points.