Nation & World

California coach recalls Sarah Palin's high school heroics

During Alaska's varsity basketball state championship, Sarah Palin, suffering from a sprained ankle, nailed a free throw that sealed her team's unlikely victory.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., hopes she can still work the same magic.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee tapped Palin, Alaska's first female governor, to be his vice president on Friday, a gamble that's undeniably changed the White House race against Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

Merced resident Cordell Randall, one of Palin's coaches during the 1982 victory, heard about McCain's choice when his phone rang in the middle of the night. A truck driver friend on the East Coast called to tell him the news.

He didn't believe it.

Then his phone rang again. This time, it was a local friend telling him the same thing. The TV news confirmed it.

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