As he drove to the hoop he could feel the burden being lifted off his shoulders. Julien Hearn went in for a routine layup that was anything but. As he laid the ball into the basket, the crowd and his teammates went wild. Hearn recorded his 1,000th career point in what turned out to be one of his final games.
Hearn reached the impressive milestone in Neligh-Oakdale’s subdistrict win over North Central last Tuesday night — a feat that hasn’t been accomplished by a Warrior boys basketball player in four years. It had been one of his goals for a long time.
“Honestly making the 1,000 point club is a dream come true,” Hearn said. “I’ve wanted this since my freshman year, and it’s as sweet as I wanted it to be. I’m just really happy that I was able to make it happen.”
He could hardly believe it when the opportunity presented itself in the fourth quarter.
“The main thing that was going through my head as I drove to the hoop was that I couldn’t believe that I had even gotten that close to my goal,” Hearn said. “When it went in, it was surreal.”
He had accumulated 641 points prior to his senior year and figured with one season left, the 1,000-mark was within reach.
“After my junior year, I figured I was pretty close to getting it, I just needed to come out and play my game,” Hearn said. “I needed 21 to get it tonight and I did just that. I knocked down 13 in the first half and kind of struggled after that, but when it came down to it, I got the job done and I couldn’t be happier.”
With such a big landmark hanging in the balance, he felt an overwhelming sense of relief when the shot fell in the hoop.
“When I hit my goal, it took so much pressure off of my shoulders,” Hearn said. “I could finally go out there and just play basketball again. It was nice to get the burden off of my shoulders and just have fun again.”
Most of his biggest supporters were able to watch him reach his goal against the Knights and he was glad they could be there for the moment.
“My biggest supporters have always been my dad, my family and my teammates,” Hearn said. “I was happy that I could reach my goal and show them that all of their support helped me out the past four years.”
He finished his senior season averaging 15.8 points per game, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals.
“I want to thank my family, coaches, teammates, God, and especially my mother,” Hearn said. “I want to thank her for everything she had to sacrifice for me when I was younger to get me where I am today.”