No, Jerome Lane’s legal name is not preceded by “Send it in!” But it might as well be.
Twenty-five years ago today, video footage of Lane’s backboard-shattering dunk for Pitt in a Big East game against Providence spread like wildfire around the country, as did color commentator Bill Raftery’s exclamation of “Send it in, Jerome!”
It was the defining moment of Lane’s basketball playing career — Lane even told Raftery years later, “Thanks for making me famous” — but it was far from the only one. The burly forward from Akron, OH, led the nation in rebounding (13.5 RPG) during the 1987-1988 season, earning Second Team All-American honors and leading the Panthers to their second straight Big East regular season title.
“We turned Pitt into a basketball school,” Lane recalled in a 2011 story for ESPN. “Before us, the football program was everything. We made them a distant second.”
Lane was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the 23rd overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft, after which he spent a 13-year professional career in the NBA, Spain and CBA.
Today, he is an assistant coach for the girls’ basketball team at Firestone High in Akron, where his son — also named Jerome — is a senior. The younger Lane inherited his father’s athletic genes, having committed to the University of Akron on Jan. 17 as a 6-foot-5, 210-pound linebacker.
Pitt hosts DePaul on Saturday afternoon. Jerome Lane profile