On a night when Bishop McGuinness debuted its new gym, Daniel Orton brought the house down.
Before Friday's basketball game against Tulsa Union, Orton joked with teammates that he was going to bring down the rim.
With 48.5 seconds left in the game, Orton, the Irish's junior center, was fouled on a dunk attempt. The ball bounced out of the rim, but the rim — and a shower of safety glass — came pouring down on Orton as the capacity crowd went wild.
McGuinness was ahead 64-54 when the shattered backboard ended the game. It wasn't immediately clear if the game was a final or if the game will be completed when the teams meet later in the season.
"When you go up, you usually hear the rim snapping back, but this time I just heard the glass crack and then you look around and see it all over the place,” Orton said after getting treated for numerous cuts. "That's just an amazing feeling,”
Florida coach Billy Donovan was on hand to watch Orton.
While Orton was in the training room getting treatment, McGuinness students and other fans scrambled to pick up pieces of the backboard. Many snapped photos of shattered backboard and even of Orton receiving treatment. Afterward, Orton went to a local hospital to get his cuts examined.
"That's something else,” McGuinness' Ryan Randolph said. "You never expect something like that.”
Orton's backboard-breaking dunk try put the finishing touches on opening night at the Irish's renovated gym, which cost $4 million.
Earlier, the McGuinness girls lost to Union, 56-45.
But it was the boys' game that drew the most attention. In addition to Donovan, University of Oklahoma players Cade Davis and Tony Crocker watched the game.
Irish players said the difference was not only seen — it was heard.
"It's an awesome place,” McGuinness girls player Mary Beth Renz said. "It's so much louder than the old gym.”
By the time the boys game started, the building was near capacity. McGuinness athletic director Gary Savely said the gym holds about 1,500 people, about 50 more than before the renovations.
The school raised $4 million in private funds to renovate the gym.