Special moment: Basketball coach’s newly adopted son hits game-winning shot

Northern Kentucky high school student hits game-winning shot. (Source: WXIX)
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 6:45 PM EST
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WARSAW, Ky. (WXIX/Gray News) - A high school sophomore is celebrating with his team after hitting a championship-winning shot.

Gallatin County sophomore Matt Griffin hit the game-winner as time expired to help his team become district champs.

“It was amazing,” Griffin said. “Words can’t describe it.”

How many times the sophomore dreamt of a similar scenario in practice, no one can say, but even Griffin might not have imagined something so unlikely.

Gallatin County entered the game with an 11-17 record and three losses to Owen County.

But last week, it was Griffin’s team cutting down the net and it was his new family smiling the biggest.

The teenager had been living in a foster home until last year. Then his coach at Ludlow High School, Dan Sullivan, retired from the position to take an assistant coaching role at Gallatin County, where his son, Vance Sullivan, is the head coach.

Griffin followed him to Gallatin County.

“My dad was the head coach at Ludlow, which is where Matt previously went to. He was living with a foster parent. He was going to get put out of that foster home and my father decided to take him in,” Vance Sullivan said.

The Sullivan family officially adopted Griffin on Valentine’s Day.

“It was a special moment for all of our family,” Vance Sullivan said.

The head coach couldn’t contain himself after Griffin scored the game-winning shot.

“I thought I was on the sideline the whole time jumping up and down, but as I watched [the video], I went all the way out to the middle of the floor,” Vance Sullivan said. “It was a great moment.”

The coach said it’s fitting that Griffin was rewarded for his hard work and positive demeanor.

“Proud of the person that he’s becoming,” Vance Sullivan said. “He shows up every day with a smile on his face. I’m proud of him and proud that he’s in my family.”

As for Griffin, the sophomore appears to have a bright future ahead of him now that he has solid ground beneath his feet.

Gallatin County plays in the regional tournament this week.