Actor who played Jimmy Chitwood in ‘Hoosiers’ made the most of his one big shot

Maris Valainis, 47 and now living in Southland, is still recognized from his portrayal of the player who made the winning jumper in the 1986 film, one of the most beloved sports movies of all time. The Indiana native’s acting career was short-lived, but his cinematic basket is immortal.

The man who made perhaps the most famous shot in cinematic hoops history never played high school basketball.

“I tried out three years in a row,” Maris Valainis says, “and I got cut three years in a row.”