SIX times the ball rattled around the rim before dropping. Six.
Damon Lowery, the man who stands above all others in Hawks folklore has little choice but to believe in destiny as a result.
Lowery was lying flat on the court by the time he sent Wollongong to the 2001 grand final series with his third free throw after the buzzer against Adelaide.
It’s a scene which still gives him chills thinking about it.
And it’s with a nod to his own piece of NBL history that makes him believe the Hawks can break a 23-game losing streak in Perth on Friday.
“Of course they can, they’ve got way more firepower (than the 2001 team),” Lowery said.
“No disrespect to my teammates, but across the board they have what it takes.
“They seem resilient too. I mean, Kevin (Lisch) goes down and they come out like they did in game two.
“That shows they have what it takes.”
The Hawks trailed Adelaide 108-106 in the deciding semi-final at WIN Entertainment Centre 15 years ago, when Lowery was fouled throwing up the hail Mary shot to win it. Coach Brendan Joyce called a time-out with no time left and Lowery went to the line, the hopes of a city on his shoulders.
Without anyone waiting to rebound, the ball is left to bounce back and forth on the rim in those breathless moments.
Lost in the wash-up is Lowery carrying a shoulder injury, which left him without feeling in his arm.
If not for the break before going to the line, he admits he would have struggled to take the shots.
“The injury happened earlier in the season,” he said.
“Against Perth, I was stupidly diving for a ball I was never going to get and the AC joint had come out.
“I played with it for the rest of the season and there were times when I just couldn’t feel my arm, the pins and needles were severe.
“If I had to shoot those shots straight away, they probably would have been air balls. But it was just meant to be.”
From there, the Hawks dropped game two of the grand final series in Townsville, before winning 97-94 in the decider.
Like this year’s hopefuls, the Hawks of 2001 had to do it the hard way, via Perth (two games), Adelaide (one) and north Queensland (two).
“In the moment you don’t realise what’s unfolding,” he said. “It’s not until you look back on it, you see it falling into place. Maybe destiny does exist.”
From the US state of Michigan, Lowery is now the director of coaching at the Dandenong association in Victoria.
But his heart will always be in Wollongong.
“Once you’re a Hawk, you’re always a Hawk,” he said. “That’s the team, the town, the culture.
“It’s about working hard, battling and not giving anything away easy. I’m lucky to have done something which still resonates with people and I really hope this generation can do it.”