Kathleen Fitzpatrick has been playing basketball her entire life, but an impressive full-court shot for her students is hands down her most unforgettable moment.
It all started when Kathleen, AKA Ms. Fitz, found herself having to give her students quite a lot of work leading up to Christmas break. As a reward, she promised to throw them a hot chocolate party… on one condition. It would only happen if she could make a full-court shot at the school’s basketball court.
In addition to being a third-grade teacher at Holy Trinity, Kathleen is the basketball coach for the fifth-grade boys. Before that, she was a basketball star at Rutgers University, where she played for Hall of Fame coach Vivian Stringer.
“Playing at Rutgers for a state university and for a Hall of Fame coach was unreal,” Kathleen said. “I learned so much on and off the court.”
It’s no surprise that her third-graders took notice of her skills whenever she’d play with them on the playground. In fact, that’s exactly how this adorable promise came to be.
“They’re always impressed by the littlest shots, so I joked around and initiated this deal,” she said. “I felt bad because I had actually given my students two tests that Friday. They were working so hard and had so much to finish before the holiday break, so they very much deserved it.”
In other words, the stakes were high when Kathleen took to the basketball court, surrounded by hopeful third-graders who were dying for a sweet hot chocolate break.
Luckily for them, her shot was nothing but net!
“I think it was a tie between who was more excited,” she said. “I knew it was going to go in, but at the same time I was hoping because I had promised them hot chocolate, so it had to go in.”
In no time, her triumphant shot was witnessed millions of times across the world. And yet, this Washington, D.C., teacher had no idea! Even her students found out she’d gone viral before she did, though she didn’t think much of it at first.
“The kids would come into class in the morning and go ‘Ms. Fitz, this is going viral!’ But kids can exaggerate, and I only have an Instagram, so I didn’t really know,” she said. “The surreal part is the whole point of the video was to have fun with my students.”
Mission accomplished! Watch Ms. Fitz’s unforgettable shot in the video below, and don’t forget to share this epic story.
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