The Allendale Hill Shot
10x Missouri Valley Champion. 3x All-American. 5x School Record Holder. 8th in the NCAA. Those accolades might just nominate John Mascari as the best cross country athlete to come out of Terre Haute. Ever. And that's saying something considering the
French settled our hometown in 1832. We have history on our hands when it comes to John Mascari, and it only made sense to have him run for a trick shot. Hence, The Allendale Hill Shot.
BEHIND THE SCENES
It is summertime in Terre Haute. Families visit amusement parks. Kids jump in pools. Watermelon sales increase. It's a good time to be alive. Now, you might wonder what exactly the best Terre Haute cross country runner does during his summertime? Well, as you might expect, he runs. But like all other summer kids, he's not exempt from the one bane of summertime: a summer job. But for us? We're grateful for summer jobs, because that's how we met John Mascari.
John and his brothers work in the landscaping industry. And really, they do a superb job. Their work explains why the Carmelite Monastery property is so beautiful. It was through the landscaping work of the Carmelite Monastery in which we met John.
A few days a week, the Mascari boys make the drive to the southside Allendale neighborhood - enemy territory for any loyal Terre Haute North Patriot. However, there's grass to be cut, bushes to be trimmed, and frankly, business to be made. So the Mascari boys enter Allendale to care for the Carmelite Monastery property. The match, perhaps made in heaven, fits perfectly as the earnest Mascari boys complete whatever task the nuns require. Nuns don't worry about instilling character in these boys.
Flash forward to midway through summer, when the Mascari boys help an Allendale mother move a treadmill. Treadmills average around 300 lbs, so it takes not just one Mascari boy, not two Mascari boys, but rather all of the Mascari boys and TSC's Gary Ulrich - a local of the Allendale neighborhood. Recall those stories of how some friends meet by just plain chance, and turn out to have fantastic friendships? Well, that's what it was like for TSC and John Mascari. Not to mention the irony behind meeting John Mascari over moving a treadmill.
When you propose trick shots to someone for the first time, there's always this inner voice telling you that this person is going to think you are crazy. Imagine stating, "Hey, I want you to shoot a trick shot off of the top of the ISU dormitory. Don't worry it's for charity. Can you do that for me?" The person then agrees with idea or looks at you like you are from Pluto. No in between. Luckily with John, he was all for it.
The trick shot is scheduled for tomorrow, so we remind John to wear his ISU uniform. This shot needs to represent Terre Haute, because John Mascari is as rooted in Terre Haute as it gets. He attended Sacred Heart for elementary school, Chauncey Rose for middle school, Terre Haute North for high school, and Indiana State University for college. Talk about a true 'Hautian.' Two of those schools don't even exist anymore!
The day has come for mayhem. John Mascari will run from US Highway 641 to Allendale to complete a trick shot. But first, we must ask permission from Allendale residents Jim and Erin Clark to use their property, as their house resides on a hillside. Luckily, they are all for it too. I mean, what better way to serve your community than to offer your property for a trick shot? The stage is set, and now all John has to do is sink the shot.
John now possesses a basketball in his hands. He hones his eyes on the goal. He takes aim, leans back, and throws. The ball misses short, and continues to miss short for many shot attempts. But this was expected, as the man hasn't shot a basketball since Chauncey Rose. However, if there is any characteristic long-distance running teaches an athlete, it is perseverance. So John does what he does best when he's at a mile marker near the end of a race:
At approximately 6:03pm, John Mascari nails the shot. You can observe it in the video: John targets the goal with his eyes, adjusts his hands on the ball, and then launches the ball down the hill. Swoosh. The best kind of music there is. Perhaps we can persuade John to add it to his playlist for his next run. Indeed, music brings back some of the best memories in life, and for TSC, The Allendale Hill Shot
represents one of those memories. Thank you John.
more about John Mascari
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Click the image to learn more about John Mascari