Senior shooting guard, Errick McCollum II, solidified his name in Goshen College basketball lore with his record-breaking free throw shot on Tuesday, December 15, at the Roman Gingrich Rec-Fitness center.
McCollum came into the game 23 points shy of Goshen’s all-time scoring record, which was held by Eric Walsh (’06). Playing the nationally ranked Saint Xavier University team, McCollum broke Walsh’s record of 2,277 points with just under two minutes remaining in the game. When asked about the pressure of breaking the record, McCollum responded by saying that, “I kept my focus on winning the game and let my teammates and the fans let me know when I closed in on the record.”
On top of the pressure to break the record, McCollum’s mother Kathy Andrews made the trip to Goshen along with other family members to watch her son play on her birthday. The five-hour drive from Canton, Ohio paid off, as she was able to witness her son break the program record as Goshen College beat #10 NAIA DI Saint Xavier University 83-62. “It was nice to be able to break the record while my family was watching and be able to share it with them,” said McCollum.
Fans came alive and gave McCollum a standing ovation as he took the free throw to tie the record, but it was nothing compared to the raucous applause fifteen seconds later as he went back to the line to break the program record. “It was hyped,” said teammate Carl Steen. “Everybody was cheering and on their feet.”
After McCollum hit the record-breaking free throw, coach Gary Chupp called a time-out to allow the standing crowd to recognize the milestone of the past record holder Walsh and the new record holder McCollum as he ended the night with 24 points. “I was proud of him” said teammate Shawn Martz. “That’s my boy.”
McCollum’s long time friend and teammate Nate West said, “I knew him forever and watched him turn into this player. I am very proud of him and see him as one of my brothers, working hard and deserving of this accomplishment.” West also joined McCollum in the record books, as he became the school’s 21st member of the 1,000-point club on January 4th.
“It felt good to be appreciated for the hard work and effort I put into the game,” said McCollum. Looking back on his basketball career and the milestone he has achieved at Goshen College, McCollum said “I am thankful to be blessed with the opportunity to get an education, have a basketball family that I have gotten close to and have great memories to take with me, with or without breaking the record.”
Make sure to watch the Leafs this year as McCollum continues to add to his point total.