Christian Watford's family shares in glory of "The Shot"

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ATLANTA - So much for a day's drive. A late morning will do the job.

Sitting five rows in back of the court on Thursday afternoon were a group of well rested people from the Birmingham, Alabama area who ventured to the east to check out Indiana's open Sweet 16 practice.

One of the members of this contingent wore a "CWAT" hat while others were dressed in the signature Hoosier Crimson.

"Its tremendous," said Ernest Watford of the easy commute from Alabama to the Georgia Dome. "We've made the seven hour, seven-and-a-half hour for three years now."

That's the distance between Birmingham and Bloomington, Indiana where Ernest's son Christian is a junior at Indiana. His wife Belinda made it to many of the Hoosiers games over the season thanks to the lengthy drive from the south to the Midwest.

Having the ability to get to a game so quickly adds just another positive wrinkle to a four months to remember for the Watford family. 

"This is the Sweet 16 and we are Hoosier fans and I'm Christian's mom so absolutely we have enjoyed this journey," said Belinda Watford-and its one that began for all intensive purposes around 7 P.M. on December 10th.

That's when Watford took a pass from a driving Verdell Jones III on the wing and rose high into the air for the shot. In what head coach Tom Crean described as "Perfect form", Watford buried the three-pointer that turned a two-point Kentucky lead into a miraculous one-point Indiana victory. 

Mobbed at first by his teammates and students on the suddenly crowded Assembly Hall floor, it was attention over the shot that would consume Watford in the coming days and months.

It has been shown over and over on various college basketball best plays highlight compilations and was even in a prominent commercial for ESPN's NCAA Tournament coverage.

"I see it a lot," said Watford on Thursday in Atlanta, repeating the same line he's used for the past few months. "At some point you get used to it."

His parents would beg to differ. 

As loyal supporters of their son they have failed to grow tired of the attention that has been showered on their sun since his three-pointer took an Indiana program hoping for the .500 and made them a Big Ten contender.

"The highlight of the season, its just like....Wow and amazing," said Belinda Watford of the attention the three point shot against Kentucky has received. "It was such a good game, everything was just wonderful that night.

"We still look back at it."

Still the family hopes they can look ahead to more basketball in the next week or so, provided the Hoosiers can win four straight games beginning with Kentucky on Friday night. A win would keep a storybook journey alive for the family and the Indiana program that has gone the farther than any in the past decade. 

"We're confident, and our team feels confident," said Earnest Watford-and its something he and his family can see up close and far away.

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