Sam Dekker Hits Game-Winner in British Basketball League Championship

Dekker took his clutch gene overseas to lead London Lions to the BBL Playoff Championship on Sunday, hitting a game-winning three and earning Playoff Finals MVP.
London Lions v Hapoel Tel Aviv - EuroCup
London Lions v Hapoel Tel Aviv - EuroCup / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Sam Dekker is no stranger to the moment. In fact, he's been hitting crunch-time shots since high school. So when he caught the ball in the right corner in an 85-85 game with 10 seconds remaining and rose up, there wasn't much doubt that the Badger alum's shot would find anything other than nylon.

Dekker's three-pointer was the finishing touch on a 17-point, 10-rebound, four-assist performance that netted the 30-year-old Playoff Finals MVP honors Sunday. He led the Lions in points and rebounds during the win while shooting 7-of-11 from the field. 10 of Dekker's 17 points came in the second half.

The Sheboygan, Wisconsin native has made quite the name for himself in the British Basketball League despite having played only two seasons. In 2022-23, Dekker earned Player of the Year honors and led the Lions to a BBL Cup title and a BBL Playoff Championship -- a title they defended with Sunday's victory.

But Sunday's game-winner was just another tally in Dekker's long list of clutch shots. As a senior in high school, Dekker hit a fadeaway three-pointer with seconds on the clock to win the state championship despite being double-teamed. At Wisconsin, Dekker delivered a game-clinching three against Arizona in the Elite Eight and then hit a go-ahead three-pointer with less than two minutes left in a win over the then 38-0 Kentucky Wildcats during the Final Four.

After bouncing around the NBA for five seasons, appearing in 252 games with stints on five separate teams, the 2015 18th overall NBA Draft pick and Badgers legend seems to have found a home in the British Basketball League and is undoubtedly thriving.