'MVP Mason' of St. Peter celebrates buzzer-beater shot with community, teammates

A high school basketball player in St. Peter has become quite the celebrity this week. Mason Doherty nailed a buzzer-beater shot Saturday night against one of the best teams in the state, Minnehaha Academy.

Minnehaha still won the game, but the backstory is how everyone on that court was a winner.

Mason’s teammates said they weren’t surprised, as Mason has been at their side on the court since they were in fourth grade.

On the practice court in St. Peter, Mason Doherty is already preparing for his next game and dreaming of being in the NBA.

“I want to be like Stephen Curry because I love him so much. I want to play against him,” Mason said.  

The bliss about this young man with Down Syndrome is that no barrier nor player is too big.

“He’s just the happy-go-lucky kid. He’s always smiling. He’s always talking basketball.  Every time he sees me, he’s giving me a hug,” Coach Sean Keating said.  

And Saturday night was no different. With minutes to go in the game against Minnehaha Academy, the hometown fans started the chant. Mason checked into the game and knew what he had to do.

The rest of the story is on perpetual replay.

“He missed the layup and then got it back and made the shot at the buzzer just outside of the lane line - and the pandemonium ensued,” Coach Keating said.

The whole room cheered, even the opposing team, including Minnehaha Academy player Sam Gonzales. He was the player who you could say helped the assist by letting Mason steal the ball in the last 20 seconds for the shot.

“He had another bright smile on his face, so I just decided why not let him get it one more time and get a final run, and as soon as he got it, the whole crowd got super loud. He got excited and ran down the court,” Gonzales said.

Even the state’s best high school basketball player, Jalen Suggs, snapped a selfie with Mason.

“To be able to be here with Mason and to make that shot and go viral all over the country and now everybody knows who MVP Mason is, it’s great,” Suggs said.

Mason’s teammates said he never practices his layups, only his three-point jump shots.

His friend Wyatt Olson said Mason is only going for the big money behind the three-point line, just like Steph Curry.