Remembering the 'Most Outrageous Play' in Casper basketball history
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Remembering the 'Most Outrageous Play' in Casper basketball history

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Barking Dog

Perhaps you've heard the legend.

Maybe you've heard whispers of a coaching move so cunning it is still being talked about a quarter century later. A basketball play for the dogs, as it were.

Some say it was the inspiration for the film "Air Bud," which would appear in theaters three years after the fact. It wasn't, but some still say it.

Behold, dear friends, the most creative sporting decision to ever occur on a Casper basketball court:

The Barking Dog Play.

It was Jan. 14, 1994, and the Natrona County Mustangs' junior varsity team was tied with the Kelly Walsh Trojans. With only 6 seconds remaining, NC coach Tim Nolan called a timeout.

On the ensuing play, the Mustangs' Jason Holt sprinted toward the 3-point line, got down on all fours and barked like a dog.

The distraction worked. His teammate, Mike Hobart, caught the in-bounds pass and scored what turned out to be the winning basket.

Before the rise of smartphones, the story went viral. The play was nominated for an ESPY for "Most Outrageous Play," was featured on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and CNN, and drew the interest of newspapers around the country.

"It's just one of those things you do to have fun," Nolan, the JV coach, later told the Star-Tribune, "and the last time I looked, I thought that's what this is all about."

The performance is still being talked about. In fact, last month, the Natrona County Mustangs recreated the play.

And Thursday, high school sports website MaxPreps gave us a reminder with a #ThrowbackThursday post.

Casper may be known for many things. The energy hub of Wyoming. The windiest place on earth. Home of the state's only Pizza Ranch.

But true Casperites know the Oil City's real crowning achievement: birthing the Barking Dog.

Some say that when the wind dies down, you can still hear it in the distance, rolling in from Casper Mountain.

"Woof. Woof. Hey look over here. Woof."

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