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ESPN flips over highlight shot from Libertyville's Lipp

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ESPN flips over highlight shot from Libertyville's Lipp
  • Libertyville's Jack Lipp shoots over St. Viator defender Mark Falotico winter at Wheeling.

    Purchase Photo | Libertyville's Jack Lipp shoots over St. Viator defender Mark Falotico winter at Wheeling. George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville guard Jack Lipp looks for running room after grabbing a defensive rebound against Mundelein at Libertyville in February.

    Purchase Photo | Libertyville guard Jack Lipp looks for running room after grabbing a defensive rebound against Mundelein at Libertyville in February. George LeClaire | Staff Photographer


On a night the Bulls upstaged LeBron, Lipp's flip topped them both.

On ESPN's Top Plays.

Story Continues Below

Nah, nah, naht. Nah, nah, naht.

Coming in at No. 2? Little Jack Lipp from little ol' Libertyville.

OK, Lipp isn't little and neither is his hometown, but rest assured the majority of ESPN's national audience never heard of the 6-foot-3 junior guard, whose remarkable shot in an AAU game last Saturday night provided one of the sports network's top video highlights Monday night. LeBron James also made Top Plays, but his dunks didn't rank over Lipp's heroics.

With his Joy of the Game squad locked up in a tie game, Lipp chased down a shot with the final seconds winding down and winged an over-the-shoulder, no-look shot with his right hand from the right corner, while falling out of bounds. The blind flip shot from beyond the arc somehow went straight in for a miraculous 3-pointer.

"That," ESPN anchor Steve Levy said on the air, "is a sick shot."

Lipp, an All-North Suburban Conference selection for Libertyville's Wildcats last winter, is one of the best perimeter shooters in Lake County. But no shot he's ever made can compare to his unthinkable 3.

"(My teammate) had an open shot at the top of the key," Lipp explained. "It was a deep 3 and it came up a little short and right. The ball ricocheted to the corner. There wasn't going to be enough time for me to throw it to someone or do anything with it, so I just kind of grabbed it and threw it toward the rim."

Once he heaved his prayer, Lipp turned around and saw the ball splash through the hoop.

"I just kind of stood there," Lipp said. "I was like, 'Is this really happening right now? Did that really just go in?' "

A mother of a player on the team that lost to Joy of the Game filmed Lipp's shot, which he called "one in a million." She then allowed Lipp's mother, Stephanie, to copy it onto a CD.

"The head coach (Andrew Braverman) of my team went to college with one of the producers at ESPN," Lipp said. "He emailed it to him, and I think he was the one who ended up getting it up for me."

Lipp had a good idea his shot would be on Top Plays, but he didn't know it would be No. 2 until he saw ESPN's SportCenter live broadcast Monday night.

Since it aired, Lipp's Twitter and Facebook accounts have been blowing up. His cellphone has also been inundated with messages from friends and family.

Seems like a lot of people know Jack.

As great as Lipp's top play was, incredibly, he nearly topped it the following day.

With Joy of the Game playing in the tournament championship, he sank another buzzer beater -- this one from half-court -- to lift his team to victory.

With the score tied, Lipp received an inbounds pass under his own basket with four seconds left. He dribbled to half-court and launched.

"But no one had that on tape," Lipp said. "That was disappointing because that would have been something if both (game-winners) had been caught on tape."

Rest assured, he'll be replaying the two experiences for friends, family and anyone who will listen to him for the rest of his life.

"After I hit the one over the back, the place went nuts," Lipp said. "But after I hit the half-courter to win the championship, the place went absolutely crazy because, by then, everyone who was associated with the tournament had heard that it was me who hit the one behind the back."

The shooter is undecided if he wants to play college basketball. Lipp is getting interest from Division III schools but has his sights set on attending a big university and possibly studying business or marketing.

Of course, if a big-time program is interested in him for basketball, the sweet-shooting guard will give it a shot, so to speak.

Crazier things have happened.

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