Her senior year season of basketball did not go as planned for Randolph-Macon Academy’s Maggie Acquaah. Sidelined by a knee injury, she was forced to play a supporting role for her teammates when what she really wanted was to be on the court.
On Wednesday, February 12, 2020, the R-MA Yellow Jackets faced off against cross-town rival Chelsea Academy. It was the last home game of the season, Senior Night, and the night before Maggie’s surgery. One by one, R-MA Head Coach Jeff Moxie put the seniors into the game, the home crowd cheering wildly over each one. But their cheers reached a new level when Maggie pulled off her warm-up shirt and went into the game with less than a minute left.
Coach Moxie had explained the situation to Dr. Mark Clark, the head coach of Chelsea Academy, who had in turn briefed his players. In a display of good sportsmanship, none of the Chelsea players challenged Maggie, knowing that one wrong move could cause her to further injure her knee and delay her surgery.
To the raucous cheers of her classmates, Maggie took an easy shot and uncharacteristically missed–because the normally stoic young lady was so moved by the events of the afternoon that tears were blurring her vision. She wiped her eyes and her teammates got the ball to her again, and once again the Chelsea players gave her space. Maggie took one more shot, and this one went in, giving the senior the final basket of the last regular season home game. The crowd erupted.
The Yellow Jackets won easily and will now move into the DAC playoffs with a home game on Thursday, February 20th, but for this night, that wasn’t what mattered. What mattered was that thanks to the sportsmanship of another school and the support of her coach and teammates, Maggie took back a few precious seconds of the season that had been stolen from her, and a memory that will last forever.