Inder Sandhu stepped up in a big way during the Modesto Junior College men’s basketball team’s Big-8 Conference opener last week.
The 2018 Ceres High School grad drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer as the Pirates erased a 22-point deficit en route to posting a thrilling 84-81 home victory over defending-league champion Delta College on Dec. 18.
“I tried not to think too much,” Sandhu said. “I was open, took the shot and luckily it went in. It was amazing having all of my teammates run towards me. It’s definitely one of the top moments in my basketball career.”
Sandhu, a 6-foot-6 185-pound freshman forward, tallied a team-high 18 points against the Mustangs.
“It was a pick-and-pop play,” said Sandhu, who put up his final shot with 1.9 seconds remaining and the game tied at 81-all. “I could tell it was going in as soon as I released it. I shoot a lot of 3s. That’s what I’m good at. I live for these moments. I put in hours in the gym. The hard work pays off during times like this.”
Sandhu and Modesto JC managed to beat Delta College despite falling behind by 22 points in the opening half.
“We made a crazy comeback,” he said.
Sandhu played the role of hero in the waning seconds.
“It’s an awesome feeling hitting a game-winning shot,” he said.
The Pirates improved to 5-8 overall and 1-0 in conference play.
The Mustangs dropped to 7-6 and 0-1.
Sandhu averaged 12.3 points and shot 41.8 percent from 3-point range through the Pirates’ first 13 games.
He scored a career-high 29 points in a 91-84 loss at Reedley College on Nov. 5.
Sandhu did not play against Ohlone, Skyline and Redwoods due to injury.
“My numbers went down after I sprained my ankle,” he said. “I’m still trying to get it right.”
A newcomer with the Pirates, Sandhu focused on academics this past year at a different college.
“Once I went to UC Davis, I didn’t think I’d play again,” he said. “I missed the game a lot. I was at a pickup game at Modesto Junior College over the summer and the coaches talked to me. They said they’d love to have me here. It took me a little time to get back in shape.”