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Monday, March 4, 2013
Khalil Edney enjoying celebrity life

By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- On Sunday, Khalil Edney hit what has became known around much of the sports world as "The Shot."

On Monday, he enjoyed being America's newest sports celebrity.

The New Rochelle senior center, who hit an improbable 55-foot buzzer-beater out of a bizarre sequence to complete a miraculous 61-60 come-from-behind victory over Mount Vernon in the New York Section 1 Class AA championship game, appeared on "SportsCenter" and several other local television affiliates.

"It's been a busy day," Edney told ESPNNewYork.com Monday night during a telephone interview. "It's been crazy. It's been amazing."

Aside from doing two interviews on "SportsCenter" and being No. 1 on the show's "Top Plays," Edney also went on FOX's "Good Day New York," ABC's "Good Morning America" and NBC's "Today" show.

"It's been out of control," Edney said. "I'm just taking it all in."

Edney called meeting singer Ashanti the highlight of his day. He posed for a photo with her and posted it to his Twitter account.

"That was amazing," Edney said. "I wouldn't trade that moment for anything."

Edney, who had fewer than 400 followers on Sunday, now has nearly 2,300. At this point, it feels like he's retweeting messages by the minute. Edney says his two best friends on the team, Joe Clarke and Donny Powell, can't believe how he's blown up.

"They're amazed by it," Edney said, "Donny was like, 'Yo, whoever thought at the age of 17 you'd be this famous in a day.' A lot of people don't get 2,000 followers in a day.

"They've helped me through this journey. I haven't been going through it by myself."

Edney's shot was the lead story on "SportsCenter." He later went on the show with former New Rochelle football star and current Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who told Edney by telephone, "I need that jersey, man. I want that autograph, man."

"Millions of people heard that," Edney said. "It was shocking to say the least."

After going on his media tour during the morning, Edney returned to his high school in the afternoon.

"It's unbelievable," he said. "Nonstop people are coming up to me. Tomorrow I'm going to be in school the whole day and it's going to be even crazier."

Edney said there were several photographers at the team's Monday practice. New Rochelle, which won its first sectional title since 2005, takes on Binghamton in the state's Class AA regional semifinals on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. at New York's Purchase College.

"We have a team motto about being 'locked in,'" Edney said. "And we were pretty 'locked in' at practice."

Edney said his sprained ankle, which nearly kept him out of Sunday's game, is fine. He received therapy Monday, did some running and shooting and will be good to go for Tuesday.

Just how bizarre was the shot?

Edney began the sequence by inbounding the ball under his own basket. His baseball pass intended for teammate Joe Clarke was intercepted by a Mount Vernon player at midcourt, who proceeded to loft the ball in the air across the time line in order to run out the clock. But Edney alertly caught the ball in front of the 3-point line his team was defending before letting it fly literally right before time expired.

His teammates began mobbing him in a pile as Mount Vernon celebrated simultaneously, figuring it had won as well. Initially, the shot was ruled no good, but the referees huddled, ultimately concluding that it would count. Replays, though inconclusive, showed the ball leaving Edney's hands at about the 0.1 second mark.

"I just threw it up. I thought it was gonna bounce off the front rim, but it was all net," Edney said. "I couldn't believe it."

The shot quickly went viral. A day later, Edney was very much enjoying his newfound fame.

So what's next for Edney? Well, next season he plans to play quarterback at Dean College in Massachusetts. Ultimately, Edney wants to be a signal-caller for a big Division I school.

"Dean is the best fit for me to accomplish that," he said.

Mike Mazzeo is a frequent contributor to ESPNNewYork.com