COLUMBIA -- Born in Rwanda, Richard Bihomora and his family fled to the United States two years later because their country was in the middle of a violent civil war. Bihomora found refuge in basketball, but he never tried out for a team until his senior year at Hickman High School.
After trying out, the coaches offered Bihomora a team manager position. He enjoyed basketball too much to say no, and he accepted the offer to be a part of the team.
Midway through the season, Coach David Johnson rewarded Bihomora's hard work by putting him on the Junior Varisty team.
"It felt so great," Bihomora said. "I can't describe it in words. I never thought I was good enough."
Later in the season, on senior night, Johnson tossed Bihomora a Varsity jersey.
"I finally got where I wanted," Bihomora said.
Little did Bihomora know that he was about to get the opportunity of a lifetime.
"The crowd was cheering my name," Bihomora said. "And then he put me in."
With less than a minute to play, Bihomora was at the free throw line with a chance to win the game for Hickman. He missed the free throws, but teammate Vincel Tigue got the rebound for the Kewpies. The ball ended up in Bihomora's hands again with three seconds left. The senior drained the shot.
"Just felt like a dream," Bihomora said.