A new 53-second Oak Bay High video that features several students encouraging others to stay strong during the COVID-19 shutdown packs a subtle surprise.
The YouTube video is called Oak Bay High Student Message and it edits together a string of sincere messages of encouragement to motivate each other for a final push to complete the school year. The students use many of the visuals that have become popular during COVID-19 pandemic, multiple students checking in from an online Zoom chat, a selfie-message, a selfie-joke about DIY haircuts, and the family of a student singing the Beatles’ “Let it Be”.
If you don't know the Horwood twins, this is John. This is his third take. He wanted to try something fresh and fun to motivate his @OakBayHigh classmates who are in the final push of the school year and, as of today, were still studying from home. @OBpulse pic.twitter.com/UwWMPYbqQL— Oak Bay News (@OakBayNews) May 29, 2020
Then there’s a message from John Horwood, a 16-year-old point-guard from the Oak Bay Bays senior basketball team. While dribbling a basketball in front of a basketball hoop at his grandparents’ Shawnigan Lake home, Horwood delivers a sincere message to “stay motivated, get that online school done, and hopefully things can get back to normal so we can see each other soon.”
As he finishes talking Horwood one-hands a no-look shot that goes through the hoop from about 30 feet, well beyond the three-point-line of an NBA court, and calmly walks out of the frame.
“Yes, it’s real,” said Horwood on Friday. “Friends have asked me how many tries it took, it took three. There was a couple of practice ones then we started filming right away. It’s the kind of thing that, if you don’t get it in the first few tries, you could be there for hours.”
Horwood’s twin brother Chris operated the camera. The two are multisport athletes who will share point guard and shooting guard roles as Grade 12s with the Bays basketball team next year. The two have played plenty of hoops to keep busy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I didn’t know what is as going do for the video, but I knew what I was going to say so I asked my brother to film,” Horwood said. “After the first two shots - and I completely missed the backboard on the second one - he said ‘You’re not going to get this, how long do I have to film you.’
“I said ‘one more, maybe we can use the bloopers or something,’ and I got it on the next try,” Horwood said. “I didn’t even know it went in, I just calmly walked off.”
Vice-principal Melanie Pass invited the Horwood twins, as well as others around the school to partake in the video, and edited it together online.
“In this COVID-19 era, staff had seen school staff members putting out videos but we hadn’t seen a student video, and we know that at the secondary school level, the thing kids miss the most is seeing other kids, their friends,” Pass said.
“I liked John’s creativity. It doesn’t surprise me that it didn’t take him long to make that trick shot. That’s what kids need right now, to know that other kids are going through some things and to see some humour and some bright faces.”