Throughout the championship run, Laney boys basketball coach Jerry Hunter kept telling his team the time to celebrate hadn’t yet come.
Now that it finally has, there’s been almost nonstop excitement.
Laney celebrated its state title Wednesday with a pep rally in the new gym with students, faculty and alumni as music played, people danced and the basketball team shared its excitement with those present.
“It was a beautiful celebration,” Hunter said.
The theme of the event was celebrating the journey, and the Wildcats arrived at the rally in their home white uniforms, even going through typical pregame drills as the fans watched and cheered.
Though it was a team title, the Wildcats shared the glory with students by inviting the varsity girls basketball team down to the court and calling down the school’s senior class for a picture with the championship team. Members of the basketball team also individually gave roses to cheerleaders.
But everyone was in for a surprise when Hunter brought a phone up to his ear and acted like he was having a conversation with the coach of Manchester — the team Laney beat in the Class AA final in Macon on Saturday.
Hunter had a fake conversation with the “coach,” finally completing the act after the Wildcats agreed to a rematch.
As the doors opened, Laney teachers jogged to the court, ready to play as the Blue Devils. The sight drew big cheers and laughter from the players and students.
“All the hard work has paid off,” senior Daniel Harris said. “It means a lot to me.”