Travis Diener's Only bucket of the game is the most important one

By: TBT Staff | @thetournament

Dwight Buycks was trapped in the corner. He threw it inside to Elgin Cook, who was immediately swarmed by three defenders trying to take the layup away. For a second, it looked like Sideline Cancer would get a stop and stay alive for just a little longer.

They forgot about Travis Diener.

Here he was, all alone in front of his own bench, as wide open as you can ever be on a basketball court. Cook threw him the ball, and though Diener has taken enough threes to wear out a thousand nets, he now faced a shot as important as any in his career.

Needing a three to reach the Elam Ending target score, and more importantly clinch the Golden Eagles’ first TBT championship after several times of falling short, there was no hesitation by the 38-year old Wisconsin native. Catch, shoot, follow through, swish, and a collective $1 million for the Marquette alumni team.

“These guys mean the world to me. Marquette means the world to me,” Diener said. “You always want to be there for your team when it matters most.”

“But what’s important is that we [all] are champions and get to celebrate together.”

For Diener, who did not play in the first few games of this tournament due to injury, it is a fitting end to what may be the final shot of his TBT career.

He might not be the most talented guy on the court, but he may just be Mr. Clutch. Last year, he sent the Golden Eagles to the championship game with a Curry-esque pull-up three. However, they would end up falling short to Carmen’s Crew.

This year, though less theatrical and bombastic, it was Diener’s wide open Elam Ender in the corner that gave the Marquette alumni the pride of champions and the cash prize to boot.

It was an exceptional conclusion to a memorable year at TBT, and one that Travis Diener surely won’t soon forget.