The Student News Site of Stratford Academy

Stratford Gazebo

The Student News Site of Stratford Academy

Stratford Gazebo

The Student News Site of Stratford Academy

Stratford Gazebo

The story behind the ‘dunk seen round the world’


By NICK DOROGY and LEAH DAVIS, Gazebo Staff Writers

When college recruits as talented as Quintez Cephus take the basketball court, a highlight reel is waiting to happen.

When the Stratford senior recently scored 16 points in a victory over arch-rival First Presbyterian, it was “Neon Night” at The Grady. And Cephus did his part to electrify the crowd.

Most athletes can say they dream of being on ESPN SportsCenter Top 10. Only a select few ever get to see it happen.

In the second period of the game on Jan. 5, he beat his man on the corner and had a spectacular dunk over two Viking players.

“I always watch the exciting plays, and it was just crazy to see myself on there,”  Cephus said.

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The spectacular dunk by Cephus made No. 4 on the SportsCenter list on Thursday, Jan. 7.

Cal Whitworth, a Stratford sophomore, captured the play from the stands with his camera, unaware that his video would make it onto national TV.

“I was shocked to see it on TV, like I wasn’t expecting that at all,’’ Whitworth said. “It was just cool that my video got so many views.”

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Cal Whitworth

After Whitworth shot the video, he sent it to Stratford basketball coach Jamie Dickey. Although Dickey was thrilled with the exceptional dunk from his senior guard, he realized the odds were long it would be featured on a national program like SportsCenter.

Dickey sent the video to Cephus, who tweeted it to his 1,516 followers, unaware of what was about to happen.

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Stratford teacher Rachel Chabot tweeted the dunk to ESPN’s Stan Verrett, who responded he was interested in it. (Photo by LEAH DAVIS, Gazebo Staff Writer)

Mrs. Rachel Chabot, Stratford French teacher, had been joking on Twitter with Coach Dickey about getting a basketball highlight on ESPN. The night she saw the tweet of the dunk, she tagged her favorite SportsCenter anchor, Stan Verrett.

“I didn’t think twice about it,” Chabot said.

However, later that night, Verrett replied, requesting more information about the play.

Mrs. Chabot couldn’t believe it. “I thought it was fake,” she said. “I told my husband, ‘I think I got a response from the guy on ESPN.’”

Dewayne Lawson, a Stratford academic technology specialist, manages the school’s athletics Twitter account.

“Mrs. Chabot tagged him (Verrett) in that tweet, and he replied back about 15 or 20 minutes after she said that,” Lawson said. “He said, ‘give me more details.’ You know, ‘where did this happen?’ So I just replied back and said, you know, the stuff he said on SportsCenter.”

The dunk was the No. 4 play of the day on SportsCenter for Thursday, Jan. 7. Mr. Lawson also tweeted a trimmed version of the clip of the actual Sportscenter broadcast, which became quite popular as well.

“It got retweeted like 100 times, so that’s cool,” he told the Gazebo.

However, this was not the end of the good news for Cephus, a standout wide receiver and defensive back for the Eagles this past season. The dunk not only brought fame, but college football coaches began offering a fresh wave of  scholarship offers.

Cephus has verbally committed to Wisconsin’s football program but cannot sign a national letter of intent until signing day on Feb. 3. He has maintained that he is still committed to Wisconsin.

“He just got off the phone a couple hours ago with Coach Mark Richt from Miami,” Dickey said earlier this week. Cephus also received a new scholarship offer from Vanderbilt after featuring on SportsCenter.

The exposure from his appearance on national television also brought Cephus a point of pride for his teammates, classmates and teachers.

“Not every day a kid from Stratford gets to be on SportsCenter,” Coach Dickey said. “It was cool. It was really cool.”

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The story behind the ‘dunk seen round the world’