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Jack became an immediate curiosity. After the game he answered questions in more than a dozen interviews, surrounded by people from the sports information office at Grinnell. Anyone who called the office that night got a little piece of him, a small taste of what he was feeling; he barely had time to talk to his parents, who waited for him to take a break. He did interviews the next morning and interviews that afternoon. He talked to Jimmy Kimmel and Good Morning America and gave his game socks to The Dan Patrick Show. He did interviews after the Pioneers' next game, against William Penn on Nov. 25, when all he could offer everyone watching was 21 points. He got autograph requests and asked his coach what XOXO meant, and his coach told him, hugs and kisses. His parents began to fear that the media storm would consume him, change him; so they asked his coaches to make sure he was eating and sleeping and still going to class. His parents hugged him and told him they were proud of him and they loved him. "You could see it in his face," says Ross Preston, a former Grinnell player who is writing a book about Pioneers basketball. "He was exhausted."
Stephen A. Smith said on ESPN that if Jack had taken even half of those 108 shots at any park in New York City, he'd have been punched in the face. Others on Twitter and YouTube called Jack a ball hog and a disgrace to the game. People phoned the SID's office and left messages that said, "This is disgusting." The Grinnell offensive system—called the System—was disparaged as a sham, as an embarrassment. The coaches were called morons. Jack's girlfriend told him he was amazing.
In all the years that passed after Frank Selvy scored 100 points, when he spoke of that number it was to confess to people that he was embarrassed by it, almost ashamed that he had participated in such an act of vanity. He remembers everything about the game, though. As he sits at his kitchen table in a house near Greenville, wearing black Velcro-strap shoes and a ball cap that hangs over the liver spots on his forehead, as the grandfather clock on the wall above the door frame chimes at the half hour, he remembers the old wood of the gym, with its humps and warped boards, and the ball making a toneless thump on the floor. The TV crew, the first ever to broadcast a game live in the state of South Carolina. The caravan of cars coming from his hometown, Corbin. His mother finding him after the game. And being certain that 100 was his destiny. He remembers that he knew the last shot was going in.
"Oh," he says, "it was meant to be. I knew that when it left my hand. You do something like that, and you think later, What in the hell have I done?"
He takes a Kleenex out of his pocket and blows his nose. He is 80 years old. There is a Yorkshire terrier in his lap, with a small pink tongue that hangs out of its mouth. Frank shares a birthday with the dog. The dog's name is Poopsie. "Yes, Poop," he says, as his large hands, which once scored so many points, roll softly over the little dog's ears.
"I always looked back on that, I just didn't feel very proud of doing it," he says. "But I wanted it at the moment, yes."
On the table is a stack of scrapbooks, each with a pocked cover and a broken spine, each big enough to hold large newspaper clippings. The clippings are loose inside, so when the pages open, some of the ancient articles spill onto the table. SELVY'S CENTURY MARK HIGHLIGHTS CAGE THRILLS.... SELVY SCORES 100 POINTS, SMASHES RECORDS.... SELVY'S PROUD FAMILY GIVEN OVATION BY FANS.... Some of the clippings were gifts that people around South Carolina bestowed on him as a sign of their appreciation. The game was all anyone ever wanted to ask him about. Some people he met recently on the golf course stood there and Googled him during their conversation.
It is hard to measure the greatest thing a man achieves in his life. Frank Selvy has children, grandchildren and a wife of 53 years. The number 100 was what defined him more than anything else, though. He remains the only player to score 100 in a Division I game.
"When my mother said, 'Why'd you do that?' I didn't know what she meant," he says. "After all these years, I guess she was saying, 'Did you do that for me?' It was a selfish thing."
The court at Furman was 84 feet long, the length of a modern high school court. There was no three-point line. The opposing team's best defensive player, guarding Frank, fouled out in the first 2½ minutes. No one else could guard Frank. He started scoring as if he were back home in Corbin, shooting 300 hook shots with his right hand and 300 with his left every afternoon on the goal he had built for himself. After a while, he remembers, Furman stopped guarding Newberry's players, letting them make layups so Frank could get the ball back and score faster.